Dateline: 12 August 2013
One of several benefits to leaving my wage-slave job and coming home (six months ago) to work my homestead-based business full time is that I have a lot more control over my work culture.
What is culture? "Culture is the total way of life of a given people at a given time, as passed down from generation to generation." That's the definition I learned in 9th grade social studies class. I remember it still (40 years later) because the teacher (who I don't remember) gave that definition on the first day of class, and told us that we needed to learn it because it would be on every test.
But I much better prefer the definition that culture is religion externalized. Or, perhaps we could say that culture is the outward expression of a particular worldview. With those thoughts in mind, it's interesting to ponder about what religion is reflected, or externalized, in different work environments, because every business does have it's own unique culture.
If you work in a state government agency, as I did, a political-statist worldview and culture dominates. The State is the ultimate authority on all things. The State recognizes no higher authority than itself. What the State decrees as right and wrong must be adhered to. All employees must conform to the cultural expectations of the bureaucracy... or else they're in for trouble. Political correctness is, of course, a subject of paramount importance. I think some version of this same culture pretty much holds true for any corporation or institution where a lot of people are employed.
And then there is the usual endless gossip, interpersonal foolishness, tension with supervisors, and resulting stress that is a daily part of most workplace cultures.
I don't deal with any of that anymore, and it is a great relief. These days, my work culture is a reflection of my worldview as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a much, much different environment I now work in.
My days are now full of hard, focused work, creativity, and production. Such actions flow out of my religious faith, and every single one of those things were anathema in the bureaucracy I came out of.
There is virtually no gossip in the culture of my home business. Though my wife and I do talk with each other about other family members, I don't think that qualifies as gossip.
There is no friction or stress coming from incompetent and disrespectful supervisors in my home business because I 'm my own boss. I do believe, however, that I answer to God, that my business is actually His business, entrusted to me, and that He has certain expectations—but they are not the expectations of an earthly bureaucracy.
There is absolutely no interpersonal foolishness in my home business. I get along with myself and my family remarkably well. They respect me, and I respect them. That's what families do, or should do.
There is no swearing, no perverse speech, and no coarse language in the culture of my home business. It is an environment where it is so much easier for me to think according to Philippians 4:8.
I have no concern at all for political correctness in my home workplace. My concern is biblical correctness, and I'm free to believe and act on my biblically-based beliefs in my home work environment.
And then there is the whole aspect of family. When a man works out of his home, he is there, for and with, his family all day. This is no small matter. From my biblical point of view, this is the primary reason to have a home business.
It is a rare thing these days for a man to be home and working a business that, in itself, will supply the financial needs of his family, but it used to be a normal way of life within agrarian cultures. If people were not farmers, they were craftsmen, like potters, or blacksmiths, or cobblers, and their business was in, or next to, their home. The industrial revolution changed all of that, and it ripped apart the fabric of traditional family life.
I recently listened to Decentralizing Economies at Generations With Vision Radio. I like what Kevin Swanson says in the beginning of the program. I appreciate the vision he often casts on his program for reestablishing family economies in order to strengthen Christian families as we are facing the collapse of Western civilization.
It took me a lot of years to break free from the bondage of a job in the city, and come home to work, but, by the grace of God, it happened. If my story, and the idea of coming home to work resonates with you, I encourage you to embrace the vision.