Faith, work, and Every Good Endeavor

every good endeavor

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the relationship between our work and our faith. Some place too high a value on vocational ministry, as if it were somehow above working as a plumber, teacher, or accountant. Others seem to act as though our faith shouldn’t impact our vocation. Many struggle to wonder whether their work matters at all.

But there has to be a way for us to take seriously the call of Scripture. When Paul wrote exhorting bondservants (or slaves) to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” I think he meant it (Colossians 3:23). In whatever we do, we work for the Lord. We serve God just as greatly as baristas and bathroom attendants as we do clergy and counsellors.

It’s no surprise, then, that I’m pretty excited to be digging into Tim Keller’s new book, Every Good Endeavor. Here’s one of my favorite passages from the early pages:

Everyone imagines accomplishing things, and everyone finds him- or herself largely incapable of producing them. Everyone wants to be successful rather than forgotten, and everyone wants to make a difference in life. But that is beyond the control of any of us. If this life is all there is, then everyhting will eventually burn up in the death of the sun and no one will even be around to remember anything that has ever happened. Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the bet, will come to naught.

Unless there is a God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor  even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever. (p. 28)

WTS Books is offering an amazing 70 percent discount on your first copy of Every Good Endeavor right now (subsequent copies are 48 percent off). You can also get the it over at Amazon, among other retailers.

Courtesy of the fine folks at Dutton, I’ve got two copies of Every Good Endeavor to give away today. If you’d like to win, here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Tell me how your faith impacts your work
  2. Share this post with your followers on Facebook or Twitter (if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate you letting me know in your comment as well)

I’ll be picking the winners today after 5 pm EST. Winners will be selected using Random.org and notified by email. Whether you win or lose the giveaway, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of this book. What I’ve read so far has been terrific.

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  • Kevin Fiske

    Though I have been formally educated and trained for full time vocational ministry (pastoral/teaching ministry), when my position at the church where I last served was cut, the Lord provided a job for me at a student travel agency. I now provide customer service to those who use our online automatic payment system. Aside from engaging in conversations about the gospel when I’m able, I strive to provide the highest level of care and understanding for those who call. In an effort to assist the customer I strive provide any and every means of service available to resolve the need they may have.

    As a person who longs to be in full time vocational ministry, sometimes I struggle with contentment in my current position. However, while I am here I strive to do what I do to the glory of God.

  • Kevin Fiske
  • Chris_Land06

    The Bible says whatever I do to do it for the glory of God and that is what I want my work to be, to bring glory to God. I also take my work as a mission field talking with people and praying for opportunities to share the gospel with them. Also to know it is ultimately God whom I am working for and not man.

  • Chris_Land06

    Tweeted about the giveaway

  • Katie Duffy

    My work is a way of loving people the way the Lord has loved me – I get to be a part of the way that God provides for them and loves them. Additionally, my prayer is that my life is a testimony to the way that the work of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ and that transforms people. Finally, my work is a way of glorifying God!

  • http://twitter.com/lilmonkey1959 kathy dalton

    I believe my faith helps me in my work because I deal with the public on a daily basis and I believein the golden rule….

  • Daniel

    My faith gives purpose to my work and, therefore, motivation.

  • Daniel

    I also shared this on Facebook. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1332726623 Marc Mullins

    I work in the secular world. But I am a Gospel transformed, Christ honoring sojourner, by the grace of God. I look for opportunities to excel at my work in honorable and ethical means, I look to build relationships with co-workers so that they see me and what has changed me, that is Christ. I pray that I can be “salt and light” on the conference call, the business meeting and in emails. I pray that if I went away from work tomorrow, folks wouldn’t remember me as much as they remember the God I worship.

  • http://www.boldlion.blogspot.com ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

    My faith for Christ gives me the purpose to be Bold as a Lion to win others for Christ. I am now unemployed. I do odds and ends job and volunteer and keep on pointing them to Christ all the more. I did tweet this, share this on facebook, and post this on Google+ too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9631959 Allison Arnold

    I am blessed to work weekends with a young man who has Down’s Syndrome. As I watch him struggle to complete simple tasks and his excitement when does so, I am reminded of my own brokenness and the wonderful grace of our Father to each of His children. As I watch this young man sit through worship every Sunday, I see evidence of the Father’s work. The young man is not able to express verbally, but he makes sounds that let you know he understands the Word being preached. Working with him enriches my understanding of the Father’s love.

    PS. I shared this article on twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/chapswoodard CH Greg Woodard

    In that I am a Navy Chaplain, my faith intersects with my work daily.
    I do have to work against doing things out of rote professionalism rather than depending on the work of God’s spirit. I did share your post with my followers.

  • http://twitter.com/willieharris Willie Harris, Jr.

    My faith helps me on the job to be self-controlled and encourage co-workers when they encounter difficulties in life such as death of loved ones, health issues, and potential lay-offs.

  • http://twitter.com/willieharris Willie Harris, Jr.

    I tweeted about this post

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1332726623 Marc Mullins

    tweeted

  • http://www.facebook.com/alma.y.ramos Alma Y. Ramos

    Faith: this should be part of our everyday life. Jesus called us out of this world, to set apart; unfortunately we still have to mix with the world but Jesus told us to be the light & salt of the world. We are to reflect Jesus in our everyday life. weather it be serving in the ministry or at our work place. Jesus wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives He doesn’t just want us to keep Him at church. or then again maybe He does because we are the church so we should take Him wherever we go. But anywho I love that scripture (col 3:23) whatever you do do it as if you were doing it for the Lord not for men & we should always offer God our best. God wants us to also give our best to our employers; and our co-workers well God tells us to love our neighbor and to me that says it all. We should work diligently with a good attitude, eager to please our employer cause in doing so we please God. we carry the light of the world in us. We should make sure that others can see that light shinning. weather it be at church, the street, our home, our work, and specially in the dark. when the situations or people around us seem unfair we still shine. I am blessed to work in a Christian environment so that helps a lot. I work in an office but my boss is Christian. I know that God put me here and even though at first I believed I didnt have the capability to work here I had faith in God that if He put me here then He was going to help me through and to this day He has. He gives me the knowledge, the wisdom and the patience I need to perform my duties. I will be working here until He moves me, I trust in His perfect plan for me. I have faith that no matter what’s placed in my path He will pull me through.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alma.y.ramos Alma Y. Ramos

      oh shared on FB

  • Michael

    My faith challenges me to find contentment and purpose simply in knowing that I am to work (as an auditor) as if I am serving the Lord (Eph 6).

  • Michael

    I tweeted this post!

  • Taylor

    My faith impacts my work by allowing me to publicly display the Fruits of the Spirit. To find peace & contentment when things don’t go my way. To encourage those who are depressed.

  • Taylor

    Also posted this on twitter!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002638089066 Persis Lorenti

    My faith changes my attitude towards my job. Even the most mundane tasks should be done for the glory of God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002638089066 Persis Lorenti

    Just shared on FB.

  • Don Haflich

    My faith shapes my work in such a way that I don’t tend to slack off as much as others tend to do. It makes me work as if I’m working for the very glory of God. I fail often but I’m working on it. I shared this post on twitter.

  • Dax P.

    Just shared on facebook. But I work at a place called Converting Hearts Ministries out here in North Carolina. We help families and individuals who have been affected my addiction. I love to use my faith to impact them and give them hope for change only through the gospel. I envite who ever reads this to check out Convertinghearts.com. Thank you

  • Dan Church

    Well, being a pastor, faith has everything to do with my “work”. But something I’ve come to learn and want to continue to teach my members is how crucial their work is for the Kingdom of God and their conforming to the image of Jesus.

    I’ll be sharing this via “twitter” – @danchurch

  • Corey Sosebee

    Faith impacts my work because I know that I am working unto the Lord and not men. This impacts decisions I make and how I respond to praise, criticism, etc. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I also shared on Facebook and Twitter

  • AWHall

    I’d give my copy to my co-pastor who feels like he never wins anything from you :)

  • http://twitter.com/JasonTTucker Jason Tucker

    LOL… The reason why I am laughing is because I am a minister. Therefore, my faith is intimately and directly associated with my job. However, I would like to believe my that my faith was just as useful and impacting at work if I wasn’t a minister. We do walk by faith after all.

  • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

    Thanks everyone for entering! The winners have been contacted; I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of the book and take advantage of the WTS deal I mentioned in the post. Can’t go wrong with 70 percent off, huh?