REFLECTING ON TIMOTHY KELLER “CONNECTING YOUR WORK TO GOD’S WORK; EVERY GOOD ENDEAVOUR”
Timothy Keller reminds us that our work does matter and bear significance. It doesn’t only matter to us but more important to God, who had designs it originally. It does bear influence in our proclamation of faith and establishment of the kingdom of God in the world. And these affirmations lead us to see the main themes being furthered by the author.
There are several agendas that are being proposed by Tim Keller, He invites the community of faith to make a paradigm shift in how we see and view work. We must affirm Work as being in the original plan of God for humanity. We need to correct our view and negativity perception on work. We have a problem with work and it needs to be relooked a new all together. The people of God then must move from separating gospel and work. They are both intertwined and complimentary in many ways. He fronts the following agendas;
The way to serve God at work is to further social justice in the world.
The way to serve God at work is to be personally honest and evangelize your colleagues.
The way to serve God at work is to do skillful, excellent work.
The way to serve God at work is to create beauty.
The way to serve God at work is to work from a Christian motivation to glorify God, seeking to engage and influence culture to that end.
The way to serve God at work is to work with a grateful, joyful, gospel-changed heart through all the ups and downs.
The way to serve God at work is to do whatever gives you the greatest joy and passion.
The way to serve God at work is to make as much money as you can, so that you can be as generous as you can. (Timothy Keller, 22)
We should move from viewing work just as curse passed over to human beings due to the fall in the account of creation, but rather its intrinsically part of us as human beings. And that God does have good intention for work. And that work done for the glory of God and advancement of humanity does offer us dignity and sense of purpose following the original pattern of God for work.
Our work does provide solutions to issues facing the world. It does actively offer hope and continuity for world grappling with numerous challenges. It doe cultivate and constantly engaged in the process of renewing and restoring the beauty of the world.
Timothy does affirm that ““Work is so foundational to our makeup that it is one of the few things we can take in significant doses without harm. Indeed, the Bible does not say we should work one day and rest six or that work and rest should be balanced evenly but directs us to the opposite ratio. Leisure and pleasure are great goods, but we can take only so much of them.” (Timothy Keller, 23).
Therefore God had a working and meaningful design of the work since the time of Creation. The original plan of work as part of God’s good plan for human beings does provide human beings with new hope. Timothy does remind us that indeed “life is not a series of random events. Your family background, education, and life experiences—even the most painful ones—all equip you to do some work that no one else can do. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do“ (Eph. 2:10).” Timothy Keller)
God is a worker and this is seen in his artistic pattern in creation. He does create a world so beautiful and magnificent. Jesus affirms it when he says “My father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working
He does initiate work as an ingredient of life in the Garden of Eden. He does commission Adam and eve to work following His example. In genesis” God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28 )
There is major problem with how we look at work in the modern world. This is partly due to the sinful nature of human beings. Timothy asserts that indeed Work exists now in a world sustained by God but disordered by sin. Only if we have some understanding of how sin distorts work can we hope to counteract its effects and salvage some of the satisfaction God planned for our work (Timothy Keller,45)
We seek to dichotomize our service to God and our service to world and completely perceive our work as the means to an end. This is because in a fallen world we have been affected all around.
We view work as means to get and fulfill the financial needs. And hence this result to human beings perceived to be only economical beings. It has completely eroded the original purpose for which we are made.
Therefore we need to pursue work as part of us be it socially, politically, economically, sacred or in the world. And Tim Keller does provided biblical support on the frustrations and sense of loss that we often acquired as we do work simply for our own financial gain and identity in the world.“Genesis 3, verse 18 tells us not only that “thorns and thistles” will come out of the ground but also that will you eat the plants of the field Thorns and food. Work will still bear some fruit, though it will always fall short of its promise. Work will be both frustrating and fulfilling, and sometimes—just often enough—human work gives us a glimpse of the beauty and genius that