Laziness, vocation, inequality, and how we view our work…

“The Christian ethic (I Thess. 3:10; Col. 3:23-24) strikes not only at conspicuous idleness; it strikes also at the sloth, the laziness, which is too frequently the vice of professing Christians. It strikes at the dissipation of time and energy of which we all must plead guilty. The principle that too often dictates our practice is not the maximum of toil but the minimum necessary to escape public censure and preserve our decency…”

“It is the consciousness of divine vocation in the particular task assigned to us that will imbue us with the proper sense of responsibility in the discharge of it.”

“It is simply a fact that God has not ordained equality of distribution of gift or possession. And because this is so, it is impossible to put equality into effect. Some are more capable of increasing their possessions; they are more provident, diligent, industrious, progressive. Are we to suppose that the qualities which make for the development of natural resources are to be discouraged? Are we to engage in a leveling process that will secure uniformity and make all conform to a stereotyped average? How absurd would be the attempt, and how futile! Equality is not a fact of God’s providence, and it is not a rule to be practiced in the order he has instituted; diversity is a fact to be recognized and the rule to be followed. Liberty itslef must take account of inequality. Unequal distribution of wealth is indigenous to the order God has established and to the natures with which he has endowed us.”

“There are few things more distasteful to modern man than subjection to authority and the demand for obedience to authority. Obedience to God or man, the keeping of the commandments of God or man, runs athwart his conception of freedom. Too often it is not because he has a well-defined conception of freedom that is alien to objective authority; it is because he has lost touch with the moorings of honesty, integrity, industry. He is out to do the least he can for the most he can get. He does not love his work; he has come to believe he is very miserable because of the work he has to do. Labor is a burden rather than a pleasure.”

– John Murray (Principles of Conduct, 85, 87, 92 104)

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