trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Work with Dignity

The Biblical view of work teaches that all work has dignity when it is conducted as unto the Lord, with a view to pleasing and honoring Him and serving the needs of our neighbors. As Luther so eloquently put it, even the humblest milkmaid can work with dignity and joy, knowing that she is serving God and providing a needed service to her employer and neighbors.

Absent that sense of work as a gift and calling from God, the only thing that gives work meaning for many people is either achievement or reward. If the achievement of work is tangible, palpable, visible to others as well as to the worker, or if the reward is sufficiently lucrative to gratify the needs and wants of the worker, that job will be considered to have meaning and, perhaps, dignity.

But there is evidence that a great many jobs either don't pay enough or don't produce enough to give workers the sense of meaning and dignity in their work which they, as image-bearers of God (whether or not they admit it), should expect. One of the ways the marketplace is responding to this is in how jobs are now being titled.

As the "Schumpeter" columnist reports in the current issue of The Economist (June 26th, 2010), inflation of job titles is the newest attempt to give workers a sense of signficance and dignity in their jobs. So secretaries are now "administrative professionals", paper boys are "media distribution officers", those who clean offices are "surface technicians", and the number of "chiefs" and "vice-presidents" and even "executive directors" has multiplied by hundreds of percentage points.

But The Economist reports that all this hi-falutin' re-titling of familiar jobs only has a temporary effect. People will not find meaning and joy in work simply because they have an impressive title. Work is actually devalued by pasting phony names on it, as if to say to the workers, "Look, we know yours is not a meaningful job, so we're going to pump it up a bit with a ridiculous name." At least, that's the message many workers take away.

But work is meaningful. It does have dignity. Work can be a source of great joy and satisfaction, and can render good to many people. But this is only true within the framework of the divine economy. The Christian who does not see his work from within that context is depriving himself of deep satisfaction in serving God and men, and his employer and those served by his work of the best he could possible give.

Let our view of the work we've been given to do, like everything else in our lives, be informed and infused with meaning from God, and our work will have true dignity and lasting meaning.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.