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Yale Theology Professor Says Work is a Gift

( [email protected] ) Nov 26, 2012 04:21 AM EST
We spend more time at work than with family per person per day.  Do you not wish to work with God and the Holy Spirit in order to renew our strength in our work?  Campus Evangelical Fellowship Press (CEF Press) invited Dr. Miroslav Volf (theology professor at Yale University) to host a feature forum titled “Embrace the work of the Holy Spirit” in the past weekend, featuring the two main themes of the workplace and renewal of spiritual life, to guide the audience on how to wisely use the spiritual blessing to create a more Godly work environment.
In the first session, Dr. Miroslav Volf shared that ''work is a gift''. CEF Press

We spend more time at work than with family per person per day. Do you not wish to work with God and the Holy Spirit in order to renew our strength in our work? Campus Evangelical Fellowship Press (CEF Press) invited Dr. Miroslav Volf (theology professor at Yale University) to host a feature forum titled “Embrace the work of the Holy Spirit” in the past weekend, featuring the two main themes of the workplace and renewal of spiritual life, to guide the audience on how to wisely use the spiritual blessing to create a more Godly work environment.

In the first session, he shared that “work is a gift”. Dr. Volf said: “Giving and sharing are considered important Christian actions. God is a gift-bearing God, and all things created are our gifts. We are not fit to receive the salvation that we received, but God gave it to use anyway.”

He spoke of Paul in 1 Corinthians, and asked a terminological question: “Which of what you own now does not come from receiving?”

Many people would answer, “Paul, I have earned much wealth and success in my life, but your question seemed to imply that I have received all of these things? However, all the success is clearly a result of my own works.” But Paul said, “The success that you have is also received from God, and that we ourselves are gifts from God. How can we share ourselves with others as gifts? Unless we own something, we cannot share anything. If we do not work, how can we share with others? On the one hand, we work for ourselves, but on the other hand, we work in order to be able to share what we have with others.”

How do we experience the guidance of the Holy Spirit at work? Dr. Volf shared: “A Christian’s life is a life walked in the midst of the Holy Spirit. We are called to walk in the Holy Spirit, which implies that we must also work in the midst of the Holy Spirit. Thus, our work is a work performed after receiving the strength from the Holy Spirit, which does not just refer to service within the Church, but also the works outside of the Church.”

God has given each and every one of us various blessings. Each person receives a calling from God, and then serves with his/her blessings in different roles. God has called us to shine His light in different places, and He not only has given us specific roles, but also has given us specific blessings and gifts to fulfil these roles.

Dr. Volf said that we must use our spiritual gifts in Church services and also in society. As we walk in the Holy Spirit in this world, we need to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit and let them shine in the world.

The “Embrace the work of the Holy Spirit” featured forum was organized jointly by the CEF Press, the Grace Community Baptist Church, and the CYCU Graduate School of Religion.

[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]