About Working

We continued our studies from the book of Proverbs not too long ago, going by topics. Just recapping some of the things we went through, and some of my thoughts on things.

What we generally call proverbs can be described as wisdom sayings. Sometimes they attract people with their witty way of phrasing (like “Man who behaves like an ass will be the butt of those who crack jokes.”), but the main point of proverbs is the wisdom it imparts (or tries to). Wisdom, then, is for living good lives in this world: we generally recognize the wise to have “figured out how things work” in this world, whereas the foolish generally blunder around.

As its name implies, the book of Proverbs aims to impart wisdom for good living in this created order. Like other proverbs, it is not a book of promises or “rules” (just because I do X, I can demand that Y happens). Unlike other proverbs, however, it is to be understood in its entirety relating to the different topics touched upon, and there is a way to unlock and understand it as a book in the bible.

We started off on the topic of work. We usually want to know “Why work?”, and “What to work as?”. Seems that there’s another question of interest being addressed too.

Why work: Summarizing it, we work to feed ourselves and our families, to earn in order to give (to the needy and to others), and to be of contribution to society. Stuff like job satisfaction aren’t even on the list, heh. Brought back to mind about what I had written on this sometime back while musing on this question, but the question for me now would be whether what I’m doing now is of real use to society, or am I just mucking around?

How we should work: Surprisingly, this is one of the aspects of work that is important enough to be touched on in Proverbs (and in other parts of the bible). Working diligently (as opposed to laziness) is one obvious point here. But what surprised me was the working at all times as if we’re being watched at all times (which is true when it comes to all-seeing, omnipresent beings anyway). We know what liberties we take at times with our office time, sometimes more, sometimes less. Well, at least I know what I do at times…

What (jobs) should we work as: Having come down to this remaining question, there’s actually no mention of the concept of a career, nor what jobs should we go for. Biblical wisdom dictates that it shouldmust not be unethical/unlawful work, but all else being equal we actually pretty much are at liberty to choose for ourselves, as long as we know why work, and when in that job we work in a manner that is indicative of our allegiance.

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