'Without the Spirit, there is no experience of the new creation.' Miroslav Volf, Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work
There is often a disconnect between work and the spiritual life for a lot of people. A theologian by the name of Miroslav Volf discovered an innovative way to understand the relationship between work and the spiritual life. He invites us to consider work as cooperation with God and believes God intended work to be something that brings meaning and purpose to our lives. Miroslav Volf grew up in Osijek, Croatia. His theology is a product of Eastern European theologians following WWII. American Christianity descends from and is commonly linked with European theology, values and morality.
Max Weber wrote an important book titled The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism in 1905. This book is considered one of the most influential books of the 20th century. Weber influenced people to work in the secular world, develop entrepreneurial ideas and engage in trade for the accumulation of wealth. Business developers were ready to ride the wave of the Industrial Revolution. They were ready to believe God had predestined them to become a blessing to humanity by creating mass wealth. Global manufacturing exploded during the 20th century as the demand for material goods grew during consecutive hot and cold wars. A few people made a lot of money. But, the worker was slowly dehumanized to simply become a 'cog in the machine.'
Work is a major component of our lives. We are all tempted to spend more time and resources on work than anything else. But, do you ever wonder what God thinks of our work or even our career choice? It may be helpful to consider what our work does for us rather than what we do for work. Dr. Volf's scholarly efforts challenge us to consider what role the Holy Spirit plays in equipping us for Kingdom work. You are not alone if you have ever wondered about the purpose of your work and whether or not it's meaningful. Dr. Volf would ask you to consider how your work impacts others and contributes to the promised future Kingdom of God. You are more than a 'cog in the machine.' You matter to God. What you do for work matters to God. Imagine how life could be if we listened and yielded to the Holy Spirit's direction as he prompts us to fulfill Kingdom goals. What awesome work might he have for you to accomplish today? Is someone's eternity on the line?
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 The Message