Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work
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New York Times bestselling author of The Songs of Jesus Timothy Keller shows how God calls each of us to express meaning and purpose through our work and careers.
In a work world that is increasingly competitive and insecure, people often have nagging questions: Why am I doing this work? Why is it so hard? And is there anything I can do about it?
Tim Keller, pastor of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church and New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God as well as The Skeptical Student in the Encounters with Jesus ebook series, and many others, has taught and counseled students, young professionals, and senior leaders on the subject of work and calling for more than twenty years. Now he puts his insights into a book for readers everywhere, giving biblical perspectives on such pressing questions as:
• What is the purpose of work?
• How can I find meaning and serve customers in a cutthroat, bottom-line-oriented workplace?
• How can I use my skills in a vocation that has meaning and purpose?
• Can I stay true to my values and still advance in my field?
• How do I make the difficult choices that must be made in the course of a successful career?
With deep insight and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers that biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about our work. In fact, the Christian view of work—that we work to serve others, not ourselves—can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Keller shows how excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity, and passion in the workplace can help others and even be considered acts of worship—not just of self-interest.
work. A few years later I decided it was time to commit to faith and “give my life” to the truth and promises of the Bible. I was worried, I admit, that this commitment might put an end to my career ambitions and material comforts because, in fact, two of my brothers who had become Christians had been “called” to be missionaries overseas. One lived in rural Africa without running water or electricity. If I was going to really put God first I had to be open to him calling me to serve him
suitable for him.” Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then
wrote, “. . . we are moving to an ever greater validation of the sacredness of the individual person, [but] our capacity to imagine a social fabric that would hold individuals together is vanishing. . . . The sacredness of the individual is not balanced by any sense of the whole or concern for the common good.”2 But near the end of Habits, the author proposes one measure that would go a long way toward reweaving the unraveling culture: To make a real difference . . . [there would have to be] a
would not veto the deal, but he would personally choose to not participate in any bonus that might result from their investment. That gave him the opportunity to explain his rationale and present a picture of God’s intentions for human flourishing. The deal closed, and the investment made the bank a lot of money. But what of my friend’s sacrifice? He took an opportunity, at a true cost to himself, to take a stand and point to his colleagues an alternate vision of life in the palace. The Peril
make it difficult to work as a Christian in this field? What are the main temptations and tests?” I was surprised, instructed, and helped by the answers I received. One of the main problems mentioned was a deeply personal one—the great temptation to lose sight of your identity in your profession. The British preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones was previously a successful physician in London. In one of his lectures to medical students and doctors, he said candidly, “there are many whom I have had the