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God Redeems Work

This is the first of several posts that I have written on the topic of God’s redeeming our everyday work lives, and I first started writing on this topic because I am interested in developing it into a talk.  I believe that God is in the process of redeeming work because I can see evidence of God’s moves in this direction through recent history, and I would like to explore this here and in subsequent posts.

I believe that God wants work to be meaningful and wants us to do work that we enjoy.

I came across a presentation by Dr. Denise Daniels of Seattle Pacific University.  Her presentation is titled “Redeeming Work:
 Living Out God’s Purpose in Our Work“.  It provided me with several eye-opening moments.  Until reading this presentation I had been of the opinion that the fall had doomed us to toil in tedium.  There was no escape.  Dr. Daniel’s presentation covered the fall, yet it enlightened me by introducing me to the concept that God, in fact, has redeemed work.

Dr. Daniels’s presentation reminded me that:

  • We are to co-create with God (Gen 1:28)
  • We have a responsibility to be stewards of God’s creation (Gen 1:28Gen 2:15).

Work can be viewed in 3 distinct phases

  1. Creation – work here was very good.
  2. Fall – work here is nothing but toil and hardship.
  3. Redemptive – work here gets back to how work was during the Creation.

Dr. Daniels delivers a considerably thought-provoking slide, and I am quoting verbatim here from slide 22, by listing the following areas were redemptive work mitigates the effects of the fall.

  • Facilitates Healing
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Spiritual
  • Provides Justice
    • Economic
    • Social
  • Restores Relationships
    • Household
    • Co-workers
    • Local Communities
    • Global Communities

The single thing that stood out the most is Dr. Daniel’s claim that God would like us to have autonomy (slide 21).  This is directly in line with work being done by Stone, Deci and Ryan (2009) on Self-determination Theory (SDT).  Autonomy plays a big part in workers overall satisfaction and organizational commitment. To see autonomy listed here is very intriguing, indeed, and I plan to work this into my presentation as well.

References

Daniels, D. (2008). Redeeming work: Living out God’s Purpose in our work [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.spu.edu/depts/sbe/cib/documents/CIB_Kiros_Redeeming_Work_Daniels_7-08.ppt

Stone, D., Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2009). Beyond talk: Creating autonomous motivation through self-determination theory. Journal of General Management, 34(3), 75–91.