The "Protestant Work Ethic"
Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people (Colossians 3:23).
You have probably heard of the term, "Protestant work ethic." Have you ever thought about its origin and meaning?
The idea originated from two places in Paul's letter to the Colossians, usually remembered and quoted in the King James Version: "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (3:17); and "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (3:23).
This is further evidence of the early influence of the Bible upon the America culture, even though most people today are unaware of it. Because of their devotion to Christ and to the Scriptures, early Americans were hard working and industrious. They took those verses seriously. They lived out those truths in their day-to-day labor. There was no tolerance for slackers.
In America, this early biblical influence has produced the greatest national productivity in history. The U.S. has led the world in industry and innovation. It has also produced the greatest standard of living of a large population in history. Only by God's grace, America has become the most blessed, most prosperous, and most powerful nation in history. We will lose these blessings as we depart from God and His Word, as we have seen in recent decades.
The Protestant work ethic also relates to employees giving their employers a full day's work and providing honest, loyal service. You steal from your employer when you are lazy. You steal from your employer when you take home office supplies for your personal use, because "they won't miss them and I need them."
But I believe the number one way the average person steals from his employer is by stealing time -- goofing off on the job. And well-meaning people who are not properly taught the biblical way are sometimes guilty of that.
Even a ministry such as Campus Crusade for Christ faces challenges in work ethic. For example, dedicated young man comes on staff from a casual four years in college; he has never had a regular job in his life; he does not have any idea what a full eight-hour, productive day is, or what a 10-, 12-, or 15- hour day for Christ should be like. It takes a while before young people can be taught to know how to work and to maximize what God has given them for His glory and for the good of the employer.
Thank God for the Protestant work ethic, the concept given to us by the wisdom of God.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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