Why Work? 2

imagesIn Why Work?, Dorothy Sayers says “the Christian understanding of work” is that “work is the natural exercise and function of man — the creature who is made in the image of his Creator.”

This means “work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do.”  “It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.”  And the satisfaction in work comes “in the godlike manner, from looking upon what he has made and finding it very good.”  “He is no longer bargaining with his work, but serving it.”

Unfortunately, once we begin to look at work “as a means to gain,” this all falls apart for us.  Work becomes “an enemy from whom tolls and contributions have to be extracted.”  We end up demanding that “we should always get out of it [i.e., work] a little more than the value of the labor we give to it.”  Soon, we “persuade ourselves that society is always in our debt” and leaves us with “a grudge against society.”  (Having been an associate at a law firm where folks talk so much about how much bonus “we deserve,” this sounds depressingly and eerily familiar.)

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One thought on “Why Work? 2

  1. Pingback: Why Work? 3 | Working Prototype

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