All work has dignity because it reflects God's image in us, and also because the material creation we are called to care for is good. The Greeks saw death as a friend because it liberated us from the prison of physical life. The Bible sees death not as a friend, but as an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), because the created world is a brilliant and beautiful good (Genesis 1:31), destined to exist forever (Revelation 22:1-5).
Faith at Work: Individual Purpose, Flourishing Communities
Faith at Work: Individual Purpose, Flourishing Communities is a Special Report sponsored by Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and prepared by The Washington Times Advocacy Department.
What do I mean by "calling"? For the moment let me say simply that calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.
There is a significant need to recover a biblical theology of work in our time. In the past there has been a failure of the evangelical church to address a theology of work. William Diehl says in his book "Christianity and Real Life":
It's election season in the U.S., and we are hearing a lot about voting. I saw a public service announcement on television the other day, and a Hollywood actress asked us to vote. I suspect she wouldn't want my vote if she knew what it was, but she was encouraging voting nonetheless.
Do you want to lead a personally fulfilling and spiritually significant life?
Our teenage son once worked at a Christian bookstore to learn biblical principles of business. Or maybe not.
As a boy, I remember hearing the heart cry of a restless generation echoing from my eldest brother's high-powered stereo speakers. The words of pop singer Jackie DeShannon still ring with crystal clarity in my ears. "What the world needs now is love, sweet love; it's the only thing there is just too little of."
If you're a Christian you don't have "a calling," you have three.
A popular bumper sticker in my current home state of Michigan reads something like this: "A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work," which prompts (for me at least) the question: "What if fishing is your work?" And this follow-up: "Would fisherman rather find themselves working in an office, factory, or in retail or agriculture?"
I consider it a personal privilege to be invited to share with fellow travelers a little of my own spiritual journey. Like most of us, I'm just one person struggling to relate faith to life ... but I am grateful to be asked to speak from the heart, about the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life.
One of the unfortunate results of the politicization of immigration in America is that it overshadows the true contribution that the Hispanic community makes in this country. It causes certain Americans to look upon our community with suspicion when — in fact — our community isn't changing America for ill, but reminding America of who she once was.
Chuck Colson came to work excited. He'd show up at the office at the beginning of the workweek and proclaim to the staff, "Thank God it's Monday!" And he meant it.
What does a mop have to do with valuing people, making a profit and living out your faith at work? Well, actually, everything. Let's explore how an $8 billion NYSE firm lived out the answer based upon deploying faith at work.
A large proportion of the people in this world today work out their destinies -- economic, social and religious -- in the daily activities of business.
A Sufi story I once heard was about community leaders of a small village inviting a renowned public speaker to speak to their people.
Made to Flourish, a pastor's network for the common good, fosters outstanding pastoral leadership by helping a rising generation of pastors -- and their congregations -- overcome the sacred-secular divide between personal piety on the one hand and our responsibilities as faithful workers in the larger economy on the other.
Vocation, meaning "calling," can come in unexpected forms. For women, especially, we find that our callings are not monolithic, but an organic collection of intertwining roles, various callings we seek to simultaneously enact in the course of our daily lives and often changing through life's seasons.
The reason that poverty is such an important issue to me is that, the way I see it, it is more than an economic issue. It is a moral issue. And I think there are millions of people of faith who agree with me.
I was born in Kansas, a son of the prairie. I worked alongside my parents and siblings on the family farm.
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence," said the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Democratic capitalism has been history's sharpest weapon against poverty, oppression and tyranny.
Since the day I was born, the Bible has played a significant role in my life. My parents taught me to love it, to cherish its principles and to apply them to everything I did.
For many in the art world, it is a bad word, implying one group of people knows better than another. For American Christians, it hasn't fared much better. It just isn't something you talk about.
In the past few years, there has been a tidal wave of Hollywood movies based on biblical topics and featuring overtly evangelistic stories. These include "Risen," "The Young Messiah" and "Apostle Paul," as well as "Miracles From Heaven," "Unbroken" and "Heaven Is for Real."
Everyone loves a comeback story. And for people of faith who sometimes feel in exile in contemporary society, nothing fires the imagination as much as someone reconnecting to their vocation through their trust in God. In this connection, I am reminded of a story in the life of the great Duke Ellington.
For the past several decades, I have met many in the marketplace who suffered from an identity crisis yielding genuine frustration. When work and career have not gone as expected, despondency and depression often followed.
Fear and uncertainty have never been the garments of the faithful.
As the founder of 4word, a ministry organization for women in the workplace, I spend significant time speaking to and mentoring Christian professionals worldwide.
Churches often teach people about "financial stewardship" — seeing the resources they possess as belonging to God and thus accountable to him for their disposal. Churches need to do better at teaching their members about "vocational stewardship" — seeing their jobs also as God's provision, and deploying their talents through their work in ways that express love of neighbor.
The world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model. We have seen the negative impact of self-serving leaders in every sector of society throughout the world.
Why don't people say "TGIM?" TGIF (Thank Goodness it's Friday!) is a popular exclamation for those longing for the end of a workweek and "real life" to begin.