It’s all Greek to me!

By Dave Henning / May 4, 2013

At the beginning of Chapter 2 (“The Dignity of Work”) of Every Good Endeavor, Timothy Keller states that the idea that work is a major component of human dignity is espoused by even the most secular thinking.  Write Ayn Rand put it this way in her book Atlas Shrugged:

“Whether it’s a symphony or a coal mine, all work is an act of creating and comes from the same source . . . the capacity to see, to connect and to make what had not been seen, connected and made before.”

In contrast, the ancient Greeks understood that while work was a necessity, not all work was created equal.  Intellectual forms of work were far superior to manual labor.  Those “ideals” created a set of pervasive ideas that hold a great deal of influence in our modern culture.  Pastor Keller notes 3 such influences:

1.  Work is a necessary evil and its major purpose is to help us make money to support our families.

2.  Low-status or low-paying jobs assault our dignity.  One consequence of this belief is that people choose careers based on the promise of higher wages and prestige, rather than choosing a career that fits their gifts.

3.  Unemployment becomes preferable to taking “menial” work that is beneath one’s dignity.

Tomorrow’s blog: “All work has dignity”

Note:  A new Short Meditation will post this coming Tuesday- “We’re in good hands with . . . Jesus”



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Dave Henning

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