Furthering God’s Purposes for Business on Earth
Timothy Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work paints a vivid picture of how we are not only designed to work but how we can use this gift to serve and glorify God and others. By organizing the book in three distinct parts, Keller provides a better biblical understanding of the purpose of work by discussing how the Bible reveals God’s unique plan for work, how sin distorts any understanding of the meaning of work, how the gospel changes the life of a Christ-follower, and how to implement the gospel into their work. Keller argues that when Christ-followers integrate their faith into their work, it provides them with a purpose and understanding, as well as a way for Christ-followers to flourish within society. There is a sense of fulfillment that comes from doing work with a purpose. The purpose of work is fulfilled when we can be the “fingers of God” by learning to serve and love others through our work (21).
Keller understands that humanity struggles with the purpose of work, and many people consider work as nothing more than a necessary evil. However, throughout Keller’s book, readers are challenged to transform their mindset toward human work – it is more than merely a job, it is a calling. The Lord carefully designed the nature of work through the construction of creation. As Keller states, He could have easily spoken all activity into existence—but He did not. The Lord created Adam and Eve to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28). He desires for us to use our abilities to cultivate the life in which we have been given. We have each been given a divine calling which is unique to us based on our God-given talents and abilities. We are driven by selfish desires, which often results in us only serving ourselves. Without meaning in our work, we sense a significant inner loss and emptiness. The world demands that we land high-paying positions at Fortune 500 companies in order to have purpose. However, Keller reminds us that we can find fulfillment, joy, and purpose from our calling regardless of what the position may be. As believers, we are encouraged to continually integrate our faith into our work to serve the Lord as well as others.
We live in a society that is influenced by so much busyness and mundane routines that we often lack purpose. We continue the same patterns because that is what we are accustomed to doing; however, the Lord desires that we connect our work (and our mindset) to His Work in order to find purpose. Keller challenges us to dig deeper in efforts to understand how to better serve those around us and fulfill God’s work through the work he has called us to undertake. This shift in mindset challenges readers to be intentional in their own work and become more aware of how others are also using their talents to fulfill God’s work. Keller graciously reminds us that there is dignity in all work; there is no one job that is superior to another. In fact, the Lord designed us with unique skillsets that naturally fit different types of roles. It does not matter the position or role that you have; it only matters if you find purpose serving the Lord, and others, through your work. Anyone seeking a deeper understanding of how to find purpose through God’s work will benefit significantly from Keller’s work.