100 years ago, Max Weber wrote about the Protestant Work Ethic. This is a belief that helped build our country! It was a set of values that stressed the moral value of work. Weber included these ideals: You work ‘in community’ not just for yourself. You actually are working for God. Don’t over spend on pleasure and luxuries. Too much comfort distracts people from their duty to God (wow!). Wealth isn’t evil, but it can tempt people to idleness and sin. “Idle hands are the devil’s tools or workshop.” That’s some powerful writing!
This is reflected in a couple of pointed verses in the New Testament, in the book of Colossians 3:23-24; “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” If anyone understands work, shouldn’t it be the people of God; redeemed, restored in a right relationship with our Creator? I’m inclined to think that Christians should be some of the most inspiring and enthusiastic workers around. I didn’t say the most skillful, that’s different. But they should be known as really good workers, especially in attitude. We understand roles and authority. We understand serving others!
You want to find people fired up about living? They’ll likely be people who love their work and have plans for the day or week ahead! Our family is currently complete the 6-month Stats Canada Labour Force Survey. One of the questions asked is: Do you work because you have to, or because you want to? “Is it I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!” Or do you really find fulfillment in your work and perhaps think “I get to go to work today.” Yes, even in retirement, you need to find and enjoy meaningful activity! Call it work, call it fun!
Many years ago, German Theologian Martin Luther understood this when he wrote: “The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays — not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is really interested in good craftsmanship.”