Timothy J. Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World” is a modern day masterpiece that sheds much needed light on God’s design for work and vocation, calling us way from drivenness and work-a-holism on the one hand and idleness and irresponsibility on the other. It exposes the falsehood that whispers in our ears saying work is a necessary evil and a result of the fall, that we must do it so we can move on to having fun.
For many of us, work becomes an idol that we serve in order to draw from it what we want: the admiration of others, expensive toys and a prominent place in a society that worships mammon.
But Keller reminds us that work is a part of God’s plan for all of His creation. He himself works (as Creator) and calls us to participate in His work. Jesus set the standard by his example and his proposition that the greatest in God’s kingdom is the servant of all.
Keller reminds us that work is worship. Whether is pulling weeds of potting plants or chopping vegetables and preparing recipes, each act is as sacred and, if engaged in as a form of worship, will yield high levels of satisfaction and fulfilment. Even when is comes to “ministry” we can get caught in the trap of viewing work as something we must do in order to get to the “real purpose” of bottom-line kingdom results. We become slaves to the perceived destination rather understanding that life is about the journey. “Every Good Endeavor” clears up that confusion.
Our idol-making tendencies, greed and selfishness have distorted that model but the scriptures keep calling us back to a proper perspective. Tim Keller’s gift is to open the and shed a powerful light on any subject he tackles. In this remarkable book he has done just that.
Quotes from the book:
“we are continuing God’s work of forming, filling, and subduing. Whenever we bring order out of chaos, whenever we draw out creative potential, whenever we elaborate and “unfold” creation beyond where it was when we found it, we are following God’s pattern of creative cultural development.”
“But in Genesis we see God as a gardener, and in the New Testament we see him as a carpenter. No task is too small a vessel to hold the immense dignity of work given by God.”
“the gospel also gives us new power for work by supplying us with a new passion and a deeper kind of rest.”