All Vocations Are Holy

The New Testament is clear that work is a good and godly thing. The apostle Paul encourages work ethic and productivity.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”                                                                        2 Thess. 3:10

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.   1 Timothy 5:8

Work for what you eat and posses. Provide for you family. Be productive. Enjoy the fruit of your labor. The incentive too work and enjoy the product of your efforts is a good thing. The early Christians confronted a Greek and Roman value system that had a low regard for manual labor and the dignity of man. Plato and Aristotle wrote that slaves should do all manual labor. Slaves were thought to be slaves by fate, and inferior to free men. They had no concept of labor or commerce being a virtuous thing until early Christians started to teach this truth.

In the late middle ages, Church monasteries played a role in setting a new standard of work. The Benedictine monks lived by the Benedictine rule, which demanded that brothers lived by the labor of their own hands. During the Protestant Reformation capitalism emerged in a significant way. John Calvin and Martin Luther taught that all vocations are holy. A person could be a priest, a merchant or a mason and still be pleasing to God as long as they were fulfilling their calling. It was no longer necessary to join a religious order to please God. It lifted the self-identity and stature of the common person.

Later the Puritans took it a step further, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling one’s God given calling or vocation. Calvin and other Protestant reformers also encouraged the aggressive pursuit of wealth through honest, hard work. The emergence of capitalism to impact and provide an economic lift to society was an unexpected by product of the Protestant Reformation.

So what does this mean of us? Work and be productive. You have ideas that will help your place of business or employment be more productive. Create…make yourself and those around you better.


Source: Compassionate Capitalism – A Judeo-Christian Value by Harold Eberle, 2010, Worldcast Publishing.

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