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Working It Out: God, You, and the Work You Do

By Ian Coffey
March 2009 | Review by Edgar Black

Synopsis

Can welding a gatepost bring glory to God? Does ironing your children's uniforms help you grow as a disciple? Will your new crime prevention strategy do anything to further the kingdom? To all three Ian Coffey says a resounding 'yes'.

  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • ISBN: 978-1844742196
  • Pages: 192
  • Price: £9.99
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Book Review

Will you like this book? Mmm … I’m not sure –– it probably depends on what you have read already on the subject. If you are a relatively new Christian or if you are struggling with the spiritual contribution that you make through your work (either in a paid or unpaid capacity) and you have not read much on the subject, then this book could help.

It begins with a reminder of the ‘Monday at 11am’ test, first coined by Mark Greene (the series editor). Does what you learn in church on Sunday at 11am make any difference to what you do on Monday at 11am? That’s a great rule-of-thumb, and Ian Coffey’s book reminds us that Christian discipleship is about the whole of our lives, not just the Sunday part.

He encourages us to see the implications of being a child of God. It means, for example, that Jesus is our boss –– and that our work gives us ample opportunity to demonstrate obedience, honesty and fairness, all marks of a godly character in action.

There are also challenging reminders that there is something of value to do for God in each season of our lives –– so don’t think that your ‘working’ contribution ends when you retire. We are also reminded to beware of becoming ‘disabled by disappointment’ –– particularly relevant to those whose career paths have not proved as ‘stellar’ as they would have wished.

In contrast, if you have been ‘on the road’ for some time and you have read other books in this area (for example, Mark Greene’s Thank God it’s Monday or the late Neil Hood’s God’s payroll –– Whose work is it anyway?) and you know your Bible pretty well, then this will probably add little that you don’t already know.

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