By Anna Lynne Frazier
Most of the world’s adult population spends half of their waking hours working. For Christians, then, it would make sense that half of the effort we put into faithfully following Jesus in our lives should focus on our vocations. After all, God created us to work, and he is glorified when we do so with excellence for his sake. The reality, however, is that many of us haven’t really taken the time to think about our work in this way—from God’s perspective.
Here are five books about faith and work to help you think more deeply about how you’re spending half your life:
This book presents a clear and comprehensive view of what the Bible says about work. It also provides direction on how to apply these biblical truths in everyday life, so you can assess your own attitude towards God and work. Every Good Endeavor shows readers how to begin to view work not as a self-interested means to an end but as a way of worshiping God and representing him to the world.
Amy Sherman crafts a theology of work around Proverbs 11:10, When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices, in order to emphasize the way the church, as a whole, should be working towards the good of all people. She then describes four pathways to help individual Christians move towards this larger purpose in their vocations. Sherman’s book provides practical and inspirational direction on how to positively influence your community for God.
Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
by Andy Crouch
Culture Making points out several ways Christians often respond to the culture of the world around us: condemning, critiquing, copying, or consuming. Though each of these responses might be appropriate in specific situations, they become problems when one of them becomes our automatic posture every time we encounter culture. Instead, we should shift our default to creating culture, living in a way that helps the world around us–our work, our families, our neighborhoods—become more like the Kingdom God created us for.
Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation
by Daniel Doriani
As noted on the back cover, this book emerged from twenty years of reflection and research, along with hundreds of interviews, in order to demonstrate the fullness of the Bible’s vision for work. Doriani explores the history of our cultural perception of faith and work, as well as new challenges confronting Christians across socio-economic classes as we seek to be faithful to God in all different kinds of work.
The title says it all: work matters. Not only is it the means by which we support ourselves and our families, the work we do from day to day also shapes the people and world around us. However, work is not an end in itself. In this book on faith and work, Nelson challenges you to think deeply about how to be faithfully present for God and for his purposes at work.
These five books explore what the Bible says about faith and work, offering practical steps forward in your efforts to follow God faithfully in all areas of life.
Check out this interview with Patrick Cox from Veterans United to see how he lives out his faith in the workplace.