Every Good Endeavor

“When we work, we want to make an impact. That can mean getting personal recognition for our work, or making a difference in our field, or doing something to make the world a better place.” Yet in a world that is relentlessly competitive and increasingly insecure, people often have nagging questions: Why am I doing this? Why is it so difficult? Is upholding ethics worth it? Work may seem just a means to an end: We do it to attain comfort and security, and to enjoy life outside the workplace.

Timothy Keller – founder pastor at New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church and bestselling author of The Reason for God – has counseled from young professionals to senior business leaders on the subject of work and calling for more than twenty years. In this thought-provoking but easily readable book, he argues that God’s plan is radically more ambitious: God actually created us to work. Every Good Endeavor gives biblical perspectives on questions such as:

  • What is the purpose of work?
  • How do I find meaning in work that seems pointless or fruitless?
  • How should I approach customers and colleagues in a cutthroat, profit-driven workplace?
  • Can I stay true to my values and still advance in my field?
  • What can guide me in making the difficult choices that must be made in the course of a successful career?

With deep insight and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers how biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about work. Our faith should enhance our work, and our work should develop our faith. In fact, the Christian view of work can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Developing a wise attitude to work releases us to serve others through excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity and passion. The book delves into the following topics:

  • Part I: God’s plan for work (the design and dignity of work)
  • Part II: Our problems with work (when work becomes frustrating or selfish)
  • Part III: The Gospel and work (a new compass and enabling power for work)

Keller asserts that the “vast implications of this Gospel worldview – about the character of God, the goodness of material creation, the value of the human person, the fallenness of all people and all things, the primacy of love and grace, the importance of justice and truth, the hope of redemption – affect everything, and especially our work”. This view “should lead neither to a withdrawal nor to uncritical consumption, but rather to humble, critical engagement with culture”. He then poses questions to reveal the state of our own ‘workview’ and work environment, and provides practical pointers on how to change the direction of our current career trajectory if necessary.

Every Good Endeavor will prove an inspiring read for everyone looking to live a godly and deeply fulfilling life while impacting society for good.

 

Review by Lise-Marie Keyser

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Timothy Keller