Our latest book was ‘Every Good Endeavour: Connecting your work to God’s plan for the world’ by Timothy Keller. The group members all enjoyed the book’s clarity and realism about work and agreed that many Christians would benefit from reading it. Steve Bavington has bought a copy for the ChaplaincyPlus stock of inspirational materials.
Why were we so enthusiastic? Tim Keller gave us a positive message about how God loves to support us as we work. God has a role for work in his Kingdom. God worked in the Creation story and in his continued care for the world. We honour God and satisfy our natures by working as we are made in God’s image. Work sets us free to be true to ourselves rather than being a burden. Work is a key way to fulfil the commandments to love God and to love our neighbour.
Tim also gives wise advice about the problems many of us face in working.
· We should not be superior. No work is better or worse than other work including whether we are paid, whoever our employer is and our level in any hierarchy. This echoes the words of the hymn and poem, “Teach me, my God and King” by George Herbert.
· Working for Christian or charity organisations is not necessarily better as we need to be salt and light for those who operate in other sectors too. God has a purpose for each life and everyone’s role in society and Tim powerfully supports recognising our “vocation”.
·Work can also become an idol in itself or reveal our hidden idols of money, power or security. We know that actions speak louder than words.
· We need to balance work and rest to maintain the health of our whole person. Even the all-powerful God rested and reflected on what he had made.
The whole group agreed that the book was very readable, and avoided lecturing. The examples were particularly helpful. It also harmonises different theories about why we work and our roles as workers and so fits in well with other teaching on this topic.
The next book we will be reading is “The life you’ve always wanted: spiritual disciplines for ordinary people” by John Ortberg. We are also reading another book of our choice to help us share recommendations and make new discoveries. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 16 September from 5.45-7pm. Please join us if you would like to discover more Christian books and for a short time of interesting and friendly discussion.