Because of our “powerful inclination to make work…and its attendant benefits” into “the main basis” of our “meaning and identity,” says Tim Keller in Every Good Endeavor.
“What are most of today’s ambitious workers doing their work for?” “To maximize their power, glory, and autonomy” just as the people who attempted to build the tower of Babel did.
I find this to be a very accurate diagnosis as applied to me. I find myself trying to find my identity in work more often than I care to acknowledge. (This is why Steve Jobs — at least as portrayed in Walter Isaacson’s biography — was so inspiring to me. He too was concerned with having power, seeking personal glory and most definitely autonomy, but the biography seems to say, in the end, he was driven above all to make something “beautiful,” something that “just works.”)
What to do?
See how Esther identified with her people and mediated for them, “as a pointer to Jesus.” Then see how Jesus did so “not as an example but as a Savior.” Then, we will see “how valuable [we] are to him” and this truth will “change [our] identity” from a person who thinks his worth comes from achievements to a person who knows his own unsurpassing worth because he knows he is Christ’s. (I think I hear an echo of Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning!)