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June 26, 2007

The 4-Hour Workweek

Money A segment on yesterday's Today Show pitted Timothy Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich against advertising CEO-turned-CNBC commentator Donny Deutsch of The Big Idea.

Timothy advocated working fewer, but more productive hours, leaving lots of leisure time to pursue dreams. Donny claimed true financial and professional success can only be achieved by working longer, harder hours. Both seem to think the definition of work is paid employment, and success is making lots of money. And both acknowledge that in today's world we seem to think number of hours put in is as or more important than the purpose or quality of our labors.

Seems to me that neither view conforms to what a biblical view of our attitude towards work should be. But what is a biblical view of work?

God worked (Genesis 1). He instructed Adam, before the Fall, to work (Genesis 1:26-30 and Genesis 2:15-20). Their labor was creative, interactive, productive, physical and intellectual. And it was good. And it wasn't done in exchange for money. And it was a natural outflow of who they were and why they existed.

Now, I realize that in today's world, we must somehow acquire the money, or things, needed to buy the things we need, pay bills, and otherwise function in society. But how do we understand and live out a biblical view of work and labor in today's world?

This article by Dallas Willard on The Trinity Forum's website has some thought-provoking things to say about "The Business of Business."

Read it. Then consider what you think a Christian's view and responsibility towards work and business should be, and post your comments here.

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» What Constitutes Christian Work Ethic in Today's World? from www.gospelshout.com
Interesting look at Donny Deutsch and Timothy Ferris' idea of working compared to a biblical view of work and labor. [Read More]



At risk of pulling a verse out of context, I'm going to suggest Colossians 3:23 as an excellent guideline: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men"


I think the answer can be found in Psalm 127: "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain...In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for He grants sleep to those He loves." I have found that when both my work & my leisure activities are biblically aligned, then achieving the right work/leisure balance for me becomes much easier and natural.

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