Public Square

Video: The Secret to Doing Good Work

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Editor’s note: We’d like to extend a special thanks to Sovereign Hope Church for this interview.

Work is good and it’s a key way to serve God. So what do we do when we start putting work in the place of God?

In an interview with Tyler Velin at Sovereign Hope Church, Hugh answers two questions about how to keep work from becoming an idol in your life.

1. Is it true that the more advanced a person gets in a company, the more idolatrous they almost become toward their work?

People often stereotype the successful businessperson as the “workaholic” who lets family, community, and health suffer in order to close that deal, get that promotion, gain recognition, etc.

Based on his years of experience in both the business and nonprofit world, Whelchel acknowledges that the stereotype rings true for many individuals and companies. But it’s not just a problem in the business world:

There’s this ego trip that you find even in Christian circles, whether its pastors, whether it’s guys running Christian nonprofits.

Every person – no matter what he or she does – has a sinful human nature, a tendency to twist something good, like work, and turn it into an idol.

2. How can we guard ourselves from turning work into an idol?

Whelchel says that pride is the root of idolatry toward work. Humility in the business world is rare in both the young and the old. So if you really want to stand out at work,

Check your pride at the door. If you really want to serve God, learn how to be humble. And that starts with learning how to serve other people for no other reason than that God’s asked us to be there.

But this is easier said than done. Tomorrow, we’ll hear about what Whelchel has to say about balance between ambition and ambivalence.

What does humility in workplace look like practically? Leave your comments here.

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  • Jake

    I couldn’t agree more that the lacking ingredient in the Christian business world is humility. Successful businessmen get proud. yet God simply tells us to humble ourselves. We as free moral agents of God have this responsibility, and capacity.

    • keshelman

      Thanks so much for commenting, Jake! We all have a tendency to put our identity in something other than God, and for those of us who are tempted by prestige and power, Hugh’s words are a fantastic reminder to stay focused.

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