At Work

Open Thread Thursday: What Is the Eternal Significance of Everyday Work?

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Editor’s Media Note: Dr. Art Carden, one of IFWE’s senior fellows, is appearing on John Stossel tonight to discuss price gouging laws in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Tune in to FOX Business at 9 p.m. to catch the discussion. 

What is the eternal significance of everyday work? This has been a big question on my mind, and one that looms large at IFWE as we seek to rediscover a biblical perspective on work. I recently wrote a post for Values & Capitalism that attempts to answer this very question:

Is God calling you into full-time ministry?

 

Many Christian college students preparing to graduate feel as if their entire life rests on the answer to this question.

 

During my senior year at James Madison University, I watched plans to become doctors and business leaders dissolve as many friends gave up their dreams for “full-time ministry.” I respected their decisions, and wondered if I could find the same significance in my “ordinary” calling.

 

As they began raising support to join campus ministry staff or church plant teams, I applied for internships in Washington, D.C., and tried to convince myself that my vocation would be equally meaningful.

 

I found some repose from the leaders in my church. They regularly emphasized the importance of secular work in building God’s kingdom. I learned that I would find significance in any job, as long as I:

 

  • Exemplified Christ’s love.
  • Shared my faith with my co-workers.
  • Donated a portion of my income to ministry. 

 

But I found this answer only half-satisfying. It explained how I should interact with co-workers and steward my money, but what about the actual work I was going to be doing?

You can read the full post over on Values & Capitalism’s website.

Can you relate? Have you ever wondered how or why your work has spiritual significance? I’d love to hear your stories.

The question of eternal significance is especially pertinent for jobs we typically see as mundane. As Hugh Whelchel asked in his post “Work That Transforms: What Is It?“:

The Christian who works on an assembly line turning five screws in a widget over and over: how is his work “Kingdom Work?”

In an effort to answer these questions. I want open up the discussion to you to offer your answers and opinions.

How do we find eternal significance in our work?

How do we carry out mundane tasks with a vision of God’s overall plan? How do we connect ordinary work to “Kingdom work?”

Leave your comments here

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