I wrote my dissertation on skilled physical work. My less formal philosophical and theological efforts also often revolve around work from various angles. Finally, this website provides notes on and links to some of my personal work. Hence the name.
Our daily work should be good service to others. This applies just as much to paid work in a factory or business as it does to a mother taking care of her children. Good service through our work is not limited to teachers or firefighters or to so-called service sector jobs.
Our work accomplishes something genuinely good.
We believe in the value of what we do and represent it fairly to others.
Our work benefits others intentionally and on purpose, not merely because that is the most convenient way to get them to pay us.
Humility and Respect
We treat bosses, co-workers, and customers well, and will sometimes defer to their ideas of what is good.
For a little more detail, view these lecture slides from a Professional Responsibility course I taught at UT-Knoxville.
Christians talk a lot about stewardship. Being stewards is indeed a biblical idea (though “managers” might be a better term, especially if modified by an adjective, e.g. “servant managers,” or “household managers.”) We know that what we are entrusted with is ultimately God’s resources.
What we may miss is that stewardship also describes our social roles in our various communities. We are stewards of God’s resources for the individuals or communities he intends those resources to bless. I explore the biblical meaning of stewardship vocabulary in this essay at Anabaptist Perspectives.
I am not talking about how to handle profits gained through business. Of course, if you do own a business that generates large profits, that does result in responsibilities to use that money well, but here I am concerned with a different question: What does it mean to steward business giftings and abilities and to steward business roles and opportunities?
I tackled these questions in a two-part series on the Anabaptist Perspectives blog.
Both of these pieces build from the basic biblical idea that stewardship is not just about what God entrusts us with, but also about who he intends should benefit from what he entrusts to us. We manage God’s creation for his creatures—especially our human neighbors.
An earlier post at Anabaptist Perspectives gives the biblical exposition.
This post from the early days of the 2020 pandemic reflects on stewardship in relation to hard times. It was also recorded in audio.