The first word in the Bible which is translated as work is the Hebrew word Melaka which comes three times in Genesis, and refers back to God's activity in the 6 days of Creation. In Genesis 1 we know that God created by the authority of His word - He speaks and stuff happens. But if we read the text more fully we can see other clear attributes to God's working style in Creation.
Work is one of those things most of us find it extremely difficult to avoid. It dominates our lives at school, university, workplace or in the home. If we don’t find meaning in our work it can feel like we’re using the best minutes of the best days of the best years of our lives just to pay the bills.
Short talk by Tim Vickers on witness in the workplace looking at 1 Peter as a way to understand how we can "live such good lives among non-believers" and "always be ready to give a reason for the hope we have". How do these two ideas help us as witnesses to Jesus in our workplaces?
So the Bible says work is a gift from God, a means by which we can seek to glorify him and by which we can hope to draw others to him. Nonetheless, it is a gift that is cursed and under that curse it often fails to provide the satisfaction or creative opportunity which we crave as human beings.
Things happen when we pray – sometimes very quickly, sometimes slowly – but things happen. God, after all, yearns that human beings would come to know him. The Holy Spirit is at work – where he wills – drawing people to Christ, to the glory of the Father.
Life after university can present a number of tough challenges, such as moving to a new location or dealing with (short-term) unemployment. No matter what lies ahead, God remains faithful to us and uses all circumstances to transform us into the image of Christ.
Over the years I have seen many great things done by Christian friends in their places of work. Sadly I have also seen numerous other Christian friends turn their backs on Jesus. What exactly are the issues at stake here? How can we take steps to ensure that we and our friends walk on with Jesus, but who live their lives wholeheartedly for him?
There’s a fine line between gratitude to God for what we have, and pride in the things we have which others don’t. On a macro scale, we feel compassion for those in the world who genuinely appear to have little. On a micro scale, it’s easy for us to feel pleased with ourselves if we have that little bit more than our immediate neighbours.
One of the things I hear most frequently, when I talk to older people about their faith and its place at work, is “Oh I wish I’d spoken up for what I believed earlier!” or “I wish I’d done more for Christ earlier in my life.” You will never hear an older Christian reflect on their life and say “I wish I’d done less for Jesus.”
First the bad news. Then some more bad news. And then some good news. The way we work today is corroding our culture and killing our relationships. This is ‘bad’ but if you’re in work it’s probably not news. The indicators have been going downhill for years. Work is not even working for the people at the top. They’re making money but, for many, at an awesome cost to themselves and their families.
“Can't you find out God's will for you life and stick to it?” After four degrees in a variety of disciplines, five different full-time jobs, and at least two career changes this is probably a valid question to ask me. Is it right that my constantly changing career path is an indication that I have found it difficult to know the will of God for my life? The answer is both yes and no!
I have a confession to make. Perhaps not a confession of the kind of titillating misdemeanour or behavioural idiosyncrasy that our glorious media may have led you to expect from public confessions... So don’t expect to see the pictures of me cavorting along an Italian beach naked as a tomato at the age of 3. No, this confession may expose me to greater ignominy...
The critical question is how to move from the Biblical materials of both the Old and New Testaments to principles for economic life [which we termed Derivative Social Principles or DSPs] The immediate problem is that the economies of Biblical times bear very little relation to the advanced economies of the world that we observe now.
The natural order is God’s good creation: it is abundant and fruitful. This is evident from the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, and from various passages in the Psalms . The pattern of creation survives despite the Fall, notably in the promise to Noah.
Divine gift and divine ownership in the Old Testament.
Christians often find it difficult to see the relevance for contemporary life of Old Testament texts concerning the created order and the Land. The key is to look at the general principles behind the texts.
Humans have been made with purpose which includes work (Genesis 1: 26-28, Psalm 139:13-16). Human life is valuable and one way it can be valued is through anticipated labour (expected productivity) (Leviticus 27).
Lending and borrowing are commonplace across the world. The Bible has much to say about these activities, relevant to the household level and also across production, trade and economics. Lending and borrowing underpin much of the global economy. The biblical system is radically different, as illustrated by Leviticus 25…
All wealth ultimately belongs to God – we are always stewards, never owners. The existence of poverty is the result of our individual and collective brokenness, not God’s failure to provide. Greed (the accumulation of wealth for selfish purposes) damages society and fails to deliver contentment.
All wealth comes from God ultimately belongs to him – we are always stewards, never owners. Greed (the accumulation of wealth for selfish purposes) damages society and fails to deliver contentment. The existence of poverty is the result of our individual and collective brokenness, not God’s failure to provide.
The theological context for Derivative Social Principles (DSPs) arises out of the Biblical understanding of the relationships between God, the natural (created) order, and humanity. God created the natural order and sustains it. He also created humanity in his own image and likeness for relationship with Him.
Putting too much weight on 'earning' as one of the purposes of work, the risk is to fail to hear God's calling for us. This pressure to earn precludes many possibilities of work for God's kingdom. Not that 'work for God's kingdom' does not mean only being a missionary or a church worker…
The main focus in this study is on households as economic actors, following the practice of economic analysis. But the family is very important in the biblical text, as a social structure as well as an economic unit. The concept of the family in economic analysis is informed by the Western model of the nuclear family..
Productive enterprises have three purposes:To serve others by providing goods and services that human beings need for their flourishing. To enable human beings to exercise their calling to work productively, and to use resources wisely and effectively, avoiding waste and/or the destruction of the environment.
The purpose of work. What is the purpose of work? Is there an appropriate distinction to be made between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ work? What are the responsibilities of a business owner or manager for the employees/ workers in respect of the kind of work they are required to do?
In the contemporary world, political ideas often develop into ideologies, or "isms", such as capitalism, liberalism, socialism or communism etc. The economy is often at the centre of these "isms", as they often revolve around the question of individual vs. common ownership and access to means of production.
Political ideas often develop into ideologies, or "isms", such as capitalism, liberalism, socialism or communism. The economy is often at the centre of these "isms". The illusion that a perfect economic system can be created has always been around. However, no human system will entirely root out evil, sin and greed.
Righteousness ‘describes the relationship that God wills for human beings to have with him through faith… and that human beings are to express through loving obedience’ to the norms he commands and sets. These are based on God’s word – he not only created the world, he also orders it..
The Bible has a rather specific and multifaceted understanding of justice. The Biblical idea of justice is deeply relational, and it extends into economic relationships. Righteousness (s-d-q, or sedeq) and justice (mishpat) are central Hebrew terms in this context...