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Work: The Meaning of Your Life Kindle Edition

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Length: 95 pages

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A book for questioners, doubters, misfits, and seekers of all faiths. Learn more

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About the Author

Lester DeKoster (1916-2009) was director of the Calvin College and Seminary library, editor of The Banner, and author of numerous books, including Communism & Christian Faith and Light for the City: Calvin's Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty.


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Russ White on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This week someone asked me, "what motivates you?" It's an interesting question, and one that deserves a better answer than the one I gave at the moment it was asked -- but I was in a hurry out the door to catch a flight, without the moments needed to really think about it. The question is not only valid for me, personally, but for all Christians.

This book attempts to put a framework around the motivation to work from a Christian perspective. The most interesting thing about this book, however, is not that the author tries to frame the question of what should motivate Christians to work, but rather the answer the author gives.

Work, for DeKoster, is service to God.

The author begins by defining work as those things we do for the good of others. Paychecks are fine, he says, but caring for others by taking care of their needs is the real root of work. To back this claim up, he works through the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31), and the parable of the ten coins invested (or not). All the way from Genesis to Revelation, work is shown as something of value, as serving others, even as serving God (Adam and Eve were put in the Garden to work).

On this foundation he lays several very interesting conclusions. First, that work is the "chisel with which you carve yourself." That work not only adds value to others, it also adds value to you in the process. By looking outside yourself to see how you can serve others, you are actually building a Godly character. Second he argues that work is the difference between civilization and barbarism, between a solid economy and a weak one. I can think of no greater lesson our society needs to learn right this moment.

It's not about who's rich, and who's poor, it's about who works.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Semeister on January 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What we do during the week is just as important as what we do when we worship God on Sunday. On Sunday we must not just attend service but show our heartfelt love for God - if we want our worship to be acceptable to him. Likewise, during the week we must show our love for our neighbor by putting their interests above ours. We have our best opportunities to do so when traveling to or from or during work at the office or back at home. The author's focus is on work at the office but we can apply the same message to our "work" in and around the home. I thank author for showing us how to bring Christ's love to others all the time and wherever we are.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Bieter on April 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Reading the book, WORK -The Meaning of Your Life - A Christian Perspective, by Lester Dekoster, who argues that work is the basis of culture, I was startled by this paragraph:

"3. The writer who speaks of Leisure, the Basis of Culture (Josef Pieper) is confused, even though he can quote some ancient Greek thinkers in his support. Work is the basis of culture. Leisure cultivated as a way of life produces no harvests but only dilettantes - drones that absorb culture without sacrificing for it, merely thieves of others' sweat." p. 40

Dekoster contends that leisure, "cultivated as a way of life", is not foundational because it produces "no harvests", no useful things.

Pieper's book, however, discusses the word "leisure" in a radically different sense. And, second, its goal is not to make useful things.

Regarding the concept of leisure, in the preface Pieper writes this about the two essays in the book:

"Their common origin or foundation might be stated in the following words: Culture depends for its very existence on leisure, and leisure, in its turn, is not possible unless it has a durable and consequently living link with the cultus, with divine worship." xiv

Rather, about leisure, Pieper writes:

"Against the exclusiveness of the paradigm of work as activity, first of all, there is leisure as "non-activity" - an inner absence of preoccupation, a calm, an ability to let things go, to be quiet.

Leisure is a form of that stillness that is the necessary preparation for accepting reality; only the person who is still can hear , and whoever is not still, cannot hear.
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