He was of the Same Trade

Posted by Matt Postiff October 21, 2013 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Society 

So says Acts 18:3. It got me thinking about working in the trades.

I'm convinced that we need to elevate the status of "the trades" in our day. What I mean by "trades" are those professions where a person works with his hands, physically building, fixing, etc. Far too often people in the trades are looked down upon as not having a college degree and maybe even belonging to a lower class of society. Blue collar or white collar? Plumber, electrician, carpenter or accountant, lawyer, doctor? Sure, we appreciate the plumber when we have a leaking toilet, but do we have a level of prejudice the rest of the time? Consider James 2:1-12.

The Bible says that three famous Christians—the apostle Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla—worked together in the same trade as tentmakers. Whatever "tent making" looked like, it doesn't seem that they were big businessmen with MBAs and hundreds of employees working for them. They worked with their hands (1 Corinthians 4:12), and Paul admonished others to do the same (Ephesians 4:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:11).

For our high schoolers, we should extol the value of hard work and reinforce to them that a job like Paul's doing manual work is a fine occupation. Perhaps that would mean foregoing a four-year college education and the $100,000 of debt that it could create—so much the better!

Let us not look down on our brothers and sisters who do work that is viewed poorly by society.

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