In the second part of this Summer’s reading selection, Every Good Endeavor, by Timothy Keller, we begin to get to the real meat of how to give your work meaning through God. Now that we understand the challenges of work, we can begin to alter how we work to deal with them. Only through God can we face the pointlessness, fruitlessness, and selfishness inherent in our work. And only through the Gospel can we give our work a meaningful narrative.
What struck me about Chapter Nine is that although we try to make sense out of the world and our work by giving it a narrative outside of the Bible, it’s only when we understand it through a biblical lens: God made us for fellowship, we rebelled against that relationship (which is why we live in a fallen world), but He gives us the ability to make it right again, can we truly have a worthwhile relationship with our work, our families, and the world at large. We can have a “Gospel Worldview” that can shape the very way we work and live.
In my business, it wasn’t until I focused on the Gospel, that I could finally relax into my role as CEO. Before that, it felt like a never-ending, ongoing battle to make money. It was only when I allowed the Gospel to shape our business, that I began to find, that although our company is “pro profit,” it’s also pro client, pro employee, pro family, and pro God. Only through the Gospel was this shift possible. We could benefit the commonwealth, by benefiting each other.
Once I began to answer the questions Keller succinctly raises in Chapter Nine: “What opportunities are there in my profession for:
- serving individual people?
- serving society at large?
- serving my field of work?
- modeling competence and excellence?
- witnessing to Christ?”
did my company’s goals take on real purpose and passion. I was no longer running the rat race for the sake of money, but able to pursue a passionate vocation for others and God.
We don’t have to be in a Christian vocation to be Christian in our work. We don’t have to be missionaries, pastors, or priests to take on the mantle of Christ. We can make God central to every calling we have.
This week, I encourage you to look at your work through a “Gospel Worldview,” and ask the questions above to see how you can tweak your calling to be from and for God.