Shaping the world — and ourselves — through work

Whether you sit at a desk from nine-to-five, chase toddlers around all day, or work in a more physically strenuous job, your work consumes a majority of your time. Many of us wonder if our work matters or makes a difference. Scripture tells us it does and we reflect God’s creative hand as we bring order to the world. Daniel Doriani recently published a helpful new resource, Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation that guides readers through ways our work shapes us and is needed for human flourishing. Doriani serves as a council member for The Gospel Coalition and is professor of theology and ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter.

Here are 10 quotes from Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation.

“Work and vocation are not identical. Vocation entails service in the place where God has given gifts and a desire to make a difference in this world.”

“It is not sufficient to assert that our work glorifies God. A truly good act follows God’s laws, conforms to his character, and has proper goals.”

“At work, we have the greatest capacity to care for the hungry, the thirsty, and the sick.”

“Scripture speaks most often of faithfulness, not fulfillment, in labor.”

“If, by faith, we consecrate our work to God and aim to love both our coworkers and our customers, we serve the Lord and he remembers it.”

“Everyone tastes disappointment at work, but work remains meaningful if we accept our God-given roles and support others in theirs, even when we are disappointed.”

“In the Western mind, we work five days to earn the right to rest and play on the weekend. But God tells believers to start the week with rest before we work. In Scripture, rest is a gift, not a reward.”

“The command to love our neighbor as ourselves can steer so much of our behavior at work.”

“Pastors hear that the church should operate more like a business, but the church is the antithesis of a business. Like Jesus, it gives away its services.”

“Through our work we shape the world, but our work also shapes us.”

Topics: Christian Life, Common Good, Theology of Work

About the Author

Bill Pence served as a leader in a Fortune 50 organization for 38 years. He is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, an elder at Christ Church (PCA) in Normal, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, Tammy.