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Do you ever wish your day-to-day work felt more purposeful? More intentional? It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of our schedules. Life can feel mundane. Whenever I start to feel this way, I look to a principle of Jewish Economic Theory called Tikkun Olam.

Literally, tikkun olam means to repair the world. And how do we do that? For the Jews, perfecting the world is all about elevating the mundane to the holy. In this article, you will learn how to implement the practice of tikkun olam in your own life.


Work as Worship

Before we answer that question, it’s important to provide some context regarding Jewish thought and culture. For Christians in the western world, it is all too easy to divorce our faith from its eastern origins. We don’t understand certain concepts and principles the same way. So, we need to dive into our faith’s historical roots in order to correct our mindset.

Jewish Economic Theory was most clearly synthesized for me in an article I read called ‘Judaism, Markets, and Capitalism: Separating Myths from Reality’ by Corrine and Robert M. Sauer. In the article, they list five foundations of Jewish Economic Theory:

1. Participation in the Creative Process with God

2. Protection of Private Property

3. The Accumulation of Wealth as a Virtue

4. Caring for the Needy

5. Limited Government

(Click here for an article that explores these tenants in greater depth.)


In the Jewish mindset, it is commonplace to consider work as worship. In the Old Testament, the word Avodah is one of the primary words for worship. Its literal translation is ‘worship.’ Case and point.

The give tenants of Jewish Economic Theory reflect how Jewish people think of the relationship between faith and finances. Because Jews see the accumulation of wealth as a virtue and believe they’re partnering with God in the creative process, the realization of work as worship fits the bill.


What is Tikkun Olam?

We use our work to repair the world—tikkun olam—and elevate the mundane to the holy. In his book, Secrets of Jewish Wealth Revealed, Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn writes:

“One of the great differences that set Jews apart from other cultural groups is that we see our wealth as a means to partner with God, as a way to bring God’s Kingdom into this earth, a concept that we call tikkun olam—perfecting the world. We perfect the world by using our God-given wealth to further God’s realm on this planet. So, what you see is that the Jewish peoples’ pursuit of wealth is often paired with the pursuit of charitable works, not only for selfish purposes.”

As Christians, we understand the importance of repairing the world. We live in a world that has strayed far away from God’s original intent. When Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world, they unleashed pain and suffering.

Luckily, Jesus is described as ‘The New Adam.’ He lived perfectly, died for our sins, and rose again so that we could experience the Kingdom of Heaven as God intended. In Colossians 1:19-20, Paul puts it like this—“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross.”

All things are being reconciled back to God! When Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected, He unleashed cosmic reconciliation. Humans aren’t the only thing that can be born again through Christ–everything is being made new! When we come to know this Truth and view our work as worship, we can begin to understand our role in repairing the world.


How Do We Repair The World?

Now that you have a base understanding of tikkun olam, your next question is probably how to apply it. At WealthBuilders, that’s why we teach you how to build wealth for the Kingdom of God. It’s not about becoming some rough and gruff businessperson. It’s about becoming a godly man or woman who seeks to do good in the world through their work, resources, connections, and platform.

When we practice biblical finance principles, we become a blessing to the world. However, we miss it when we think the only way to be a blessing is to give and donate money. It’s true that we are a blessing when we give, tithe, and bring offerings, but we can do so much more than that, too!

Repairing the world takes more than giving alone. It requires recreating systems of influence that can transform lives. It requires kingdom-minded entrepreneurs, doctors, government officials, parents, pastors, writers, news anchors, engineers—whatever you do for work can make the earth look a little more like heaven each day. (Matthew 6:10)

Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn also said this:

“To be religious Jews, we are not supposed to isolate ourselves on a mountaintop and meditate, nor are we to take vows of poverty. Rather, we are supposed to get out into the world, interact with it, and elevate the mundane. This, in fact, is the traditional meaning of tikkun olam. We repair the world by elevating it to the holy.”

When you treat your work as worship, you put your “heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.” (Colossians 3:23-24) Similarly, when you build wealth God’s way, He will empower you to have an impact on the world and make a difference with your resources.

[Related Post: What is Righteousness?]

Next Steps

I hope this blog has encouraged you regarding the role you play in repairing the world. How have you seen tikkun olam lived out in your life? We’d love to hear your stories of reconciliation in the comments!

If you want to learn about more practical ways to elevate the mundane to the holy, consider attending our WealthBuilders Conference, February 18-20, 2022, in Denver, Colorado. From now until January 7th, you can receive $60 off your ticket by using the code WBSALE at checkout. Click here to learn more about the conference.