"[T]he commonly reported figure...is derived by taking the total annual earnings of men in the American economy in a given year and dividing that by the number of male workers....Then you do the same thing but for women. The average annual women’s earnings come in at about 80 percent of the average annual man’s earnings." - Harvard Study: Gender Pay Gap Explained Entirely by Work Choices of Men and Women
"I’ve noticed today there are many approaches being offered by businesses for those seeking to find deeper fulfillment and satisfaction in whatever their 'work' might be. With so many options available, why is it that deep satisfaction is still so illusory?" - TIFWE
I’ve always preached that all honest work is God-glorifying and that the opportunity to engage in labor and reflect God’s character through it is a great privilege. Over the years, I’ve also emphasized that if you’re doing the work God wants you to do, however “secular” it may be, you shouldn’t stoop to do anything else. Even vocational ministry is a demotion if it’s not what God wants you to do.
As a pastor, these ideas were relatively easy to affirm. The logic is simple. The best thing any man can do at any time is to obey God. Therefore, if God wants him to sell soap, or make pizza, or drive truck, or mop floors, that activity is the best thing he can do. And if that work is best for him, all other work is inferior.
But when you’re post-pastoral, these principles can be a bit harder to hold with conviction—especially if you loved your pastoral work, prepared thoroughly for it for almost a decade, and still believe it’s what you do best. But sometimes even guys with seminary training and clear evidence of giftedness for ministry can find themselves facing clear direction from God to “do something else until further notice.”
And when that happens, they struggle to see meaning and purpose in the work they find to do.
So on this labor day, I’m talking to myself and to any of the rest of you who sometimes feel that your work is a bit wanting on the scale of importance, meaning and enduring value. (It’s also a holiday, so I’m not going to work too hard at this. Please enjoy the irony.)
"[A] a job provides, not just an income, but also a sense of purpose. It is not government handouts or parental support that make young people happy, but personal responsibility and a deep-seated conviction that the fruits of one's labor make the world a better place." - Acton Institute
In the Bible, man’s work has a high value, because it reflects a God who is working Himself. The triune God had been working prior to men’s existence in Creation. Because He is triune, He even worked in eternity before Creation came into existence. The Persons of the Trinity worked with and for each other. In the Bible everything good comes from the Trinity. Because the members of the Trinity speak to each other and Jesus is the Word, we can talk to each other.