Connecting Human Work to God’s Work
Connecting, Human, Work, God’s, Work
Week 6 Assignment – Discussion Response
Reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ threads, in at least 150 words, building upon the original thread or offering a contrasting viewpoint. The replies must be substantive, and must further the discussion.
Please respond at least 150 words to the following:
Top of Form
Overview of Important Points in Text
Keller in his text, Every good endeavor: Connecting your work to God’s work, has many important thoughts that we as Christians should reflect on (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014). One of the most important issues that Keller touches on is that we as a society have created the idea that there is work that is below us, by considering many service tasks as too menial (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014).
This often translates into the body of Christ as well. Certain roles or jobs are considered to have a higher status than others. When in reality, 1 Corinthians tells us that all work serves a purpose (KJV).
A second thought that Keller shares, is that when we do work, we are to do it as a service to God (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014). We see that clearly communicated in both 1 Corinthians 10 and Colossians 3 (KJV). A third important thought that Keller shared, is that just like when God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of slavery, God equips us to do the work he has called us to do (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014).
Fourthly, Keller makes a very good point about what happens when we are out to make a name for ourselves; we often lose touch with the fact that our identity is in God (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014). Finally, the last important issue that Keller speaks on is what happens when money becomes our goal (Keller & Alsdorf, 2014).
The Bible clearly states that the love of money is the root of evil (KJV). Christians will quickly find in their pursuit of money that things will spin out of control and go farther than ever intended.
Points for Further Consideration
In his book, Keller shares his view that work in the secular world is just as important to God as work directly related to the furthering of the Gospel. The basis of this view is that since Adam and Eve were put in the garden to work, all work then is equally valuable to God. This idea seems to be an oversimplification and needs further consideration.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus told the fisherman to follow him, they left their nets (KJV). Following Jesus means things will change in your life, and sometimes that means leaving things behind. However, whatever circumstance or job you may find yourself in can be used to glorify God. Look at Paul, when he found God, he left his old job and pursued a new life. His circumstances were not always ideal; but he always used them to glorify God.
However, in contrast look at Joseph in the Old Testament. His journey was a long one, that many times seemed unfair; yet God had a plan for him and put him right where he was supposed to be. In that way, then yes, all work that God asks us to do is indeed important, “The doctrine of vocation shows Christians how to live out their faith in the world.
It has to do with God’s presence in the world and with how he works through human beings for his purposes. For Christians, vocation discloses the spirituality of everyday life” (Veith, 2011, p. 119).
It is important to understand that a Biblical Worldview is not something that should be turned off and on like a light switch. Christians have a tendency to compartmentalize their Faith from other parts of their lives (Veith, 2011). Though, admittedly, the current climate has a tendency to make Christians uncomfortable in living out the Gospel “in the workplace, the family, the society, and the church” (Vieth, 2018, p. 25).
Nevertheless, it is important that God be at the center of all we do. With that said, there will always be a Biblical Worldview component involved in any research I do, whether or not it is specifically stated or not. That is part of the reason why utilizing a mixed-method research design is so important; utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods of research allow for strong conclusions with reduced bias to be drawn from the collected data (Schoonenboom & Johnson, 2017; Robson & McCartan, 2016).
Please respond at least 150 words to the following:
After reading the text by Keller and Alsdorf, below are five things that I found to be most important:
Work as a Service
A Christian view of work is “that we work to serve others, not ourselves”. Chapter four discusses using our work to be a service unto God. The authors says “God radiates through any task, whether it is as commonplace as tilling a garden, or as rarefied as working on the global trading floor of a bank” (Keller & Alsdorf 2012).
There are many ways of service, perhaps it’s being involved in a choir, serving at church, volunteering in a way that honors you or a worthy cause. Most of us know the verse; “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45 NLT), but when Jesus said it he was talking about serving people not the Bible.
Collectivist culture, Japan, Korea, and China is one that’s based on valuing the needs of a group or a community over the individual. Kinship, family, and community are essential. People tend to work together to create harmony, and group cohesion is hugely valued.
Individuals in a collectivist culture are likely to appreciate what is good for the whole over what is right for one person. Values such as cooperation, helpfulness, obedience, interdependence, and maintaining harmonious interpersonal relationships are encouraged and promoted, especially during childhood. Family members expected to maintain and keep family values because the act of an individual member has an impact on the entire system (Akkus et al. 2017).
Authors describe the concept of “common grace” in which all of the humankind benefits in the market place in respective industries and so forth. Everyone has received a gift, talent, or ability, given to him or her by God to glorify his name, and edify one another (1 Peter 4:10 New Living Translation). Whether you have a talent that’s musical, creative, or intellectual, we are encouraged to use our gifts, talents and abilities to glorify his name.
As Christians, we are reminded of the importance of remembering the gifts God has given us, “Do not neglect the gift you have,” declares Paul in 1 Timothy 4:14. Most Christians reserve their talents for church or privately. We are encouraged to use and invest our talents and to minister to others around us to win souls.
Just as the parable in Matthew 25 refers to a master leaving his servants with a specific portion of talent, we believe that God has given every Christian a talent that can be invested for good. We should be humble and accept and appreciate the work of all both Christians and non-Christians. Christians can benefit from and cooperate with non-Christians ( Keller & Alsdorf, 2012).
The dignity of work
Workplace Dignity defines dignity as a personal sense of worth, value, respect, or esteem that is derived from one’s humanity and individual social position, as well as being treated respectfully by others ( Lucas 2015). Work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development, and personal fulfillment.
The Bible refers to work in both the New and Old Testaments and provides guidelines, some examples are: “Do not withhold wages from your workers, for their livelihood depends on them” ( Deuteronomy 24:14-15 New Living Translation ) and “Woe to him who treats his workers unjustly” (Jeremiah 22:13 New Living Translation ).
Work as cultivation
In this passage, Genesis 1:28, man is directed by God to fill the earth and to subdue it. Humans are given multiplication as a task to fulfill with intentionality. When society is constructed in ways that allow human beings to work and release their human creativity in God-pleasing ways, human flourishing is advanced, when society is not ordered in ways that both respect the desires of God and the objective realities of creation human flourishing is hindered and stunted (Bradley 2020)
The importance of a calling
Work matters to God. God provides us with unique sets of skills, talents, gifts, abilities and calls us to particular roles and activities. We all have a spiritual calling. Work is a gift from God and we should acknowledge such gift. Just as God equips Christians for building up the body of Christ, so he also provides all people with talents and gifts for various kinds of work, to build up the human community.
We need to work and conduct ourselves with intentionality, and according to his purpose. Our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service for something beyond merely our own interests ( Keller & Asldorf, 2012). Ultimately, our work calls us to imitate the work of Christ.
Overall, the text provided me an opportunity to reflect on finding God’s meaning and purpose in my work and vocation. God calls everyone to work with all of our hearts at our jobs. The authors did not make the distinction between a job and work. The Bible offers an abundance of wisdom on the topic of work.
We often use the word “ work” to refer to day-to-day activities performed to achieve the desired outcome. A job represents a particular position or rank within an organization. Work is a gift from God, and work has been part of God’s plan for humanity.
He created it. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). It is essential to keep in mind God’s plan for work. As a Christian, every good effort has meaning and value. No matter what kind of work you find yourself, its to glorify the Almighty.
Establishing a Biblical worldview is an essential component of carrying on the faith because it has implications in every area of life (Schultz & Swezey 2013). Christian worldview, founded in the Bible, provides moral standards that allow me to tell between right and wrong.
We can honor God only when we make decisions and execute our plan according to Christian principles. The central theme in business should be building trust with partners to foster mutually beneficial relationships and work consistent with God’s principles.
A Christian worldview is seeing and embracing the world from a Christian lifestyle, values, and beliefs viewpoint. I believe my Christian worldview and research I conduct will integrate my worldview and value system. As a Christian, my biblical world view will be the foundation of my research and to ensure I conduct my research and methodologies through a Christian lens.
In my decision making process, I always bring a specific set of beliefs as well as philosophical assumptions. These assumptions will determine the research strategy. My Christian worldview will provide moral standards and principles on how to execute my research.
Biblical principle for business, as well as life, is to not conform to this world, but continually transform by renewing our mind in what is in the will of God. This is the essence of innovation, which is critical for any successful business or proposed research. Romans 2:12 advises us to not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind to what is the will of God.
Christianity claims that its followers should always seek to be above reproach (Colossians 1:21-22 New Living Translation), meaning that they aspire to seek and maintain high integrity. As a result of this, my worldview unlikely to consider methods conducting research or apply methodologies that contradict my ethical or moral codes of conduct.