ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, October 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

The gospel of work

We are tempted to make our vocations a salvation project; to justify our souls with grand deeds.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 02 MARCH 2019 15:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Markus Spizke (Unsplash, CC0)

A brilliant essay this week at The Atlantic analyses our curious contemporary obsession with work. Today most urban workers not only work long hours; we expect too much from our jobs.



Author Derek Thompson writes:



“In the past century, the American conception of work has shifted from jobs to careers to callings—from necessity to status to meaning… For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver”.



I’ve found Thompson’s observations illuminating. My generation – the so-called Millenials – has grown up hearing: pursue your dreams. Follow your passions. Find purpose in what you do.



I confess that I have repeated many of these maxims myself. But while I believe in them, I realize that without a proper ethical framework, we may be tempted to value work too much. We can evaluate people by how glorious or world-changing their careers are. We can unwittingly demean necessary but unfulfilling jobs. We can allow our vocations to define who we are and what our value as people is.



For my generation, the challenge is compounded by our daily pressure companion, social media. Our friends’ lives look more glamorous on Facebook than they are in real life. We don’t Instagram unproductive meetings or writing lengthy emails, after all. Only the highlights make good pics. The resulting illusion is that other people’s jobs feel more exciting than they actually are, while we start to resent the less exciting aspects of our work, forgetting that no job is only fun fun fun.



Thompson uses religious language to describe this social malaise – correctly. It is not just an economic, cultural or political issue; it is deeply spiritual. We are tempted to make our vocations a salvation project; to justify our souls with grand deeds.



The problem with this gospel—Your dream job is out there, so never stop hustling—is that it’s a blueprint for spiritual and physical exhaustion… To make either [work or success] the centerpiece of one’s life is to place one’s esteem in the mercurial hands of the market. To be a workist is to worship a god with firing power.



One of my favourite attributes of God is that he rests. He made an astounding universe in six days, but delighted in his creation on the seventh day. Our collective deity, if we would fashion one out of the spirit of the age, would be impressive and accomplished–a workaholic. I don’t think he would rest much. The biblical God does. Isn’t it brilliant?



I’m excited for coming opportunities, pumped up about work plans. But you know what? Time to close the computer today, pick up the kids at soccer practice, and let them teach me about rest, play, and God.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The gospel of work
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Porn exploits victims of human trafficking Porn exploits victims of human trafficking

The European Freedom Network launches a new anti-trafficking campaign: “You have no way of knowing if the porn you are looking at is from someone who chose to be there or not”.

 

 

 
What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines? What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines?

David Glass, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Ulster University (Northern Ireland) analyses whether a computer can have emotions or a conscious experience.

 
A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees

Thousands still cross the border to Colombia every week, and many continue on foot into the interior. Christian young people have set up an aid station along the road.

 
How has Christianity influenced the modern world? How has Christianity influenced the modern world?

Paul Copan, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University, explains how many key features of Western civilization, are the legacy of the biblical faith being lived out by believers in society.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.