The traditional and Christian views on work have several similarities. Here are the main points:
- Purpose of work: In both traditional and Christian perspectives, work is primarily seen as a means to acquire basic needs. It is recognized as a necessary activity to sustain oneself and fulfill material requirements.
- Divine ordination: Both traditional and Christian beliefs acknowledge that work is ordained by God. In the Christian teaching on work, it is emphasized that God Himself instituted work by creating the heavens and the earth. Similarly, traditional African views also attribute the existence and necessity of work to the divine.
- Work and leisure: Both traditions recognize the importance of balancing work and leisure. In the Christian teaching, leisure is seen as a gift from God that should be put to good use and can provide an opportunity for worship and personal growth. Similarly, traditional African societies valued leisure time for rest and engaging in activities that fostered socialization and personal well-being.
- Duty and obedience: Both traditions emphasize that work is a duty and should be done in obedience to God. Christians are taught that they are responsible for God’s creation and have a duty to work diligently. Traditional African societies also viewed work as an obligation and a command, understanding that it is their responsibility to contribute to the well-being of their community.
- Division of work and sharing: Both traditional and Christian views encourage the division of work and the sharing of responsibilities. In traditional African societies, different roles and tasks were assigned based on age, gender, and skill. Similarly, in the Christian teaching on work, the idea of being co-workers with God implies the importance of collaboration and sharing the workload.
- Emphasis on hard work: Both traditions emphasize the value of hard work and condemn laziness. In the Christian teaching, the Bible condemns idleness and encourages believers to be diligent in their work. Traditional African societies also valued hard work and saw it as a virtue necessary for personal and communal development.
- Development of talents and abilities: Both traditional and Christian views recognize the importance of work in developing one’s talents and abilities. Christians are encouraged to use their skills and abilities to produce good works. Similarly, traditional African societies valued the acquisition of skills and knowledge through work, allowing individuals to contribute to the community’s well-being.
- Socialization: Both traditions acknowledge the social dimension of work. Work brings people together, improves their relations, and promotes socialization. In traditional African societies, communal work activities played a significant role in fostering social bonds and strengthening community ties. Similarly, in the Christian teaching on work, the importance of fellowship and collaboration is emphasized.
Overall, while there may be cultural and religious differences between the traditional African and Christian views on work, they share commonalities in recognizing the purpose, divine ordination, duty, division of work, emphasis on hard work, talent development, and promotion of socialization.