Elizabeth Knox Online

I found J.B.’s blog - Shrinking the Camel - via twitter and the The High Calling. I immediately liked his posts.

Many people who write about faith-and-work stop after they make the point that it’s important to combine the two, and that God values your work. J.B.’s blog makes those important points, but goes beyond that and includes real-life work situations. You get a glimpse of how he handles challenges, setbacks or success. His tone is approachable and conversational (and occasionally irreverent, which lets you know he’s human). Given that his book is a collection of blog posts, it follows that I really enjoyed At Work as it is in Heaven.

I originally read through the book when I first picked it up downloaded it in September. At that time, I breezed right through it. I enjoyed it, I wished it were longer, but then I set it aside.

As I’ve recently found myself a bit more stationary than usual, I took the opportunity to re-read the book. I started going through it at the same clip as last time, but then I got to Chapter 6. While not the main point of the chapter, Wood wrote about the importance of really thinking about and reflecting on the Scripture you are reading. His book isn’t Scripture, but it reminded me to take more time to reflect on what I was reading and how the different topics applied to my life.

So then I  slowed down and paid more attention to his writing. That chapter, Investing in a Spiritual Economy, is about how our perspective on the economy impacts our feelings of security. Most of the time when we hear the word “economy” our mind turns to money – either our personal finances or the finances of the country. When I think about my own financial economy I get a little antsy. Like most people I’m dealing with some uncertainties: new expenses like a baby (and unpaid maternity leave); or new opportunities like the book. Plus the country’s (world’s?) economy is still shaky and that can make me nervous.

But Wood encourages readers to look at the spiritual economy: one “made of relationships and from giving and loving,” which leads to spiritual security. He doesn’t say the financial economy is unimportant, he just encourages you to realize that your security doesn’t come from there.

“There really is no security in life. That’s the first lesson, numero uno. Which is kind of hard to swallow for us hard-core, independent-minded control freaks. But maybe once we grasp that point, then the verses that follow in Luke 12:22-23 about not worrying start to make sense. Jesus is saying there is so much more to life than the raw economics of money and transactions.

The spiritual economy is going on all around us, right in front of us, and the beauty is that it is based on eternal, unlimited abundance. But we get distracted and driven by the financial economy, which appears to be bigger, more important, more tangible and more threatening.”  (pg53-54)

That chapter caused me to ask myself:  am I hoping to find my security in the financial economy? am I making investments in the spiritual economy?

That chapter also caused me to slow down and really think about what I was reading. I found the book really enjoyable the first time, and a lot more challenging the second time. I could include a ton more quotes from him in here, but instead I’ll just encourage you to read it!

More about the author: Aside from his day job as a Senior Vice President, JB Wood is a Content Editor at the The High Calling. His writing has also been featured in The Conference Board Review magazine, Christianity Today’s Men of Integrity, and The Chicago Sun Times.



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