At Work & Economics 101 & Public Square

What I’ve Learned about Being Mission True from Faith, Work, and Economics

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As the new COO of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE), I’ve been thinking a lot about our mission statement. I want to share with you what I’ve been learning.

In yesterday’s blog post, I looked at the first part of the IFWE mission statement, which reflects our commitment to educating and inspiring Christians with biblical truth.

Today, let’s take a look at the last part of the mission statement.

Our mission is to educate and inspire Christians to live out a biblical theology of faith, work, and economics (emphasis added).

Our Work Is an Imitation of Christ

Faith, work, and economics are our areas of focus. When I’m speaking to Christian groups, I sometimes ask, “What part of your life does God not care about?” He cares about every aspect of our lives at a level of detail that we can’t comprehend.

This translates directly to our work lives. Does our faith in Christ have anything to do with our work at the office or on the jobsite?

It does. The biblical idea of faith and work is rooted in the character of God. He is a worker, a builder, and a caretaker. Being made in his image, we are called to work alongside him.

Regrettably, God’s perfect creation has been corrupted by man’s sin. In the Fall of man, our gloriously meaningful work became toil. Pain was greatly increased and man was sentenced to death.

Even through our failings, God never left us and never failed us. In an unfathomable act of love, he sent his son, Jesus, to save us from sin and death and to set us on the path of restoration!

Christ’s work on the cross is so perfect that even our work in the office is redeemed. We still live in a fallen world and so our efforts are imperfect. But, in Christ, even our smallest efforts and seemingly unimportant tasks have significance on a grand scale.

We look forward to the day when our work will be perfected in glory. Yes, there will be work in the new heavens and new earth. And it will be grand!

Factoring in Economics

So, where does economics factor into all of this? This is where things get really interesting.

As Hugh Whelchel, the founder of IFWE, is fond of saying, God has woven economic principles into the fabric of creation. He calls us to know and work within this system as good stewards of the resources, time, and abilities we’ve been given.

In other words, we’re called to make good choices according to the system God has created. He cares about the choices we make, and he wants us to be productive stewards of what he’s given us. This is where economics can help.

Economics is the science of choice. God has created – and cares deeply about – the system in which we make choices. He cares deeply about what and how we exchange with each other. He cares about trade, markets, and exchange rates.

IFWE is committed to helping Christians figure out what this means on a practical level for their faith. How can Christians bring biblical principles to bear on these economic principles? How does faith relate to an economic way of thinking? These are just some of the questions we’re seeking to help Christians navigate.

We’re Serious about Remaining Mission True

Finally, I want to touch on one other aspect of IFWE’s mission and our commitment to remaining Mission True. We are not only serious about what we are doing. We’re also serious about how we do it.

You don’t have to look very hard to find an abundance of bile,snark, and contemptuous speech out there about economics (not to mention faith and work!). Visit any news website and you’ll see what I mean.

IFWE will not be joining that throng. Our desire is to speak the truth in love and not to be another clanging cymbal.

This does not mean that we will soften our message by backing down from biblical truth.

It does mean that we will make every attempt to follow Jesus’ model of speaking the timeless truths of the gospel by building one another up and by encouraging one another. If you find us failing to meet that standard, I invite you to contact me personally at info@tifwe.org.

Thank you for your commitment to our mission. Thank you for faithfully following our blog. Your engagement with us is a great joy and encouragement for all of us here at IFWE, and we hope we are helping you in your daily walk with Jesus.

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