Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book review: Chris Evans- Fruit at work

Fruit at Work
Chris Evans
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There seems to be quite a few books coming out lately about how Christian faith should shape how we think about and undertake our work. This interest in the topic is a great development as there has been a tendency among Christians to undervalue “secular” work. Chris Evans adds to the discussion in Fruit at Work by exploring how the fruit of the spirit as found in Galatians 5 can be put into practice in a workplace environment. Following a few introductory chapters, a chapter is dedicated to each of the fruit of the spirit. He provides explanation of what the bible means by each of the fruit and explanation of how it might be applied in the workplace, along with plenty of helpful real life examples.

 An interesting line of argument in the book is that demonstrating fruit of the spirit can actually be a positive professional move by making you a better employee and contributing to better professional relationships. While I think it is important to make sure that honouring God is a much higher priority in spiritual discipline than our own gain (something Chris does discuss), I think this aspect of the book could be really encouraging for Christians tempted to cut ethical corners in their attempts to meet their career goals.

 While the target audience of the book is those engaged in formal employment, I think the book has a lot to offer to those who are not as well. This is because it shows how the fruit of the spirit are not abstract, super-spiritual or sentimental virtues but as principles that provide a viable way to live and act in the sometimes challenging real world.

 Overall, I think this book makes a good contribution to Christian thinking about both applying faith in the workplace and to how to exercise fruit of the spirit in everyday life.