In light of Labor Day, we reflect on the meaning, purpose, and blessing of WORK. Why does work matter and why should we be thankful even when we don’t feel thankful?
For some insight, we look at the book, Every Good Endeavor, by the late pastor and theologician, Tim Keller. To learn more about what work is from a biblical perspective and practical ways we can do a better job of integrating faith and work.
In the book’s foreword, by Katherine Alsdorf, we connected and agreed with, “Each day, I wrestled with what it means to be ‘called to serve God’ as a leader in business. It’s a nice concept, but what does it mean in practice?”
Like Kate, we love the idea of being called to serve God. We are thrilled by it; however, we are practical people and nice-sounding concepts are not enough for us. As with everything we do, we want not only a deeper understanding but also direct application, because that is the only way we can do the work we’ve been called to do by Him.
We haven’t read about work in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, we hear, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Why it Matters
Why is the topic of work such an important thing to think about?” We spend about eight hours of our day working at our workplace, plus 1-8 hours or more working on personal projects and endeavors. That’s a ton of time…working! Work is challenging and we all know how hard it is to consistently put significant efforts towards something and to remain purpose-driven – especially if it’s not our favorite thing to do. For this reason, a good understanding of what work means to us as land investors is vital if we plan on living a purposeful life and maintaining a balance between work and life.
What is Freedom, Really?
Many people define freedom as being able to do what you want when you want, and how you want to. But freedom doesn’t mean being free from work. It is not the absence of restrictions. We fail to realize that we can get trapped and bound by those indulgences we are “free” to make and end up living in more bondage than if we were more disciplined.
As Christian entrepreneurs, land investors, and business owners, we are most free when we operate, live, work and play within the boundaries of God’s commands and His will, according to our gifts and talents. Romans 2:9-11 reads, “If you go against the grain, you get splinters. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs.”
You must have had times in your life when you just had to trust God, even though it felt like you were giving up your freedom – only to get to the end of the process and finally realize the good God was working all along.
Even when we do not see His path, we need to step forward in faith. Even when we cannot see a way through, we need to continue to do His work. We need to stand firm, to give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord. We need to discipline ourselves under God to watch our purpose-driven lives bloom.
Why Do We Work?
Work is good, it’s part of our design and it should be a part of our life. We don’t work to live or to make a living. Rather, work is something we live to do.
Understanding work as an essence of life is a significant mindset shift, one that takes time and intentional effort to fully grasp. This is one reason why we feel satisfaction when we’re productive when we’re progressing and growing. We thrive when we grow from all the work we do.
The purpose of work goes beyond making money. We should elevate our perception of what work is and why it’s important and we are doing so.
A great quote by Tim Keller in the book says, “We are the fingers of God, the agents of his providential love for others. This understanding elevates the purpose of work from making a living to loving our neighbor and at the same time releases us from the crushing burden of working primarily to prove ourselves.” With this, we can see the necessity of integrating faith and work in our businesses as Christians.
Again, we want to stir our imagination and creativity about how to integrate faith and work, but this time, we want it to lead to action! Everyone has a slightly different vocation, so this means something different for everyone, but the concepts are the same, and biblical truth is constant.