So far, in our series, led by the incredible Jim Larson, we’ve looked at why and how we work; today, we are looking at another important identifying piece of the puzzle: where we work. As people, indecisiveness is all too rampant in our culture. Let us be the people that decide where we are going to work, and then go do it.
We are in a really unique place in time; only 200 years ago did we first start having the ability to choose our work. What a privilege (and an obligation) to choose where we work! The hard part, of course, is the dizzying effect of the paradox of choice. We are faced with so much opportunity, so many good choices, that we are led often to anxiety, disappointment, and discontent. And, further, we get caught up in the idea that our choices today will dictate our forever. But that’s note the case! Though Martin Luther made a case against career changes, John Calvin and much of the Bible encourage career changes. And, many of it’s characters exemplify the ways in which they glorify God (look at Moses, for example – from sheep herder to political leader!).
Myth 1: Where we work is more important than why we work and how we work.
- The Truth is that why we work and how we work is at least as important as where we work.
Myth 2: We will all have a burning bush moment (though, God can, and does, do this for some of us – it’s not a guarantee).
- We cannot sit and wait for our calling, God wants us to trust Him and sometimes, make the first move in faith. Even if it’s wrong, it is still a step driving us forward.
Myth 3: We should determine where we work based primarily on our passions.
- We should be driven by the following, instead:
- The needs of the world
- Jeremiah 29:7: But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
- Our giftings
- Romans 12:6-8: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
- Our truest desires (not our fleshly desires, but the ones that align with the Spirit)
- Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
- John 16:24: Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
- 1 Timothy 5:8: But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
- We have to make tradeoffs, and there is almost always a sacrifice.
- The needs of the world
Myth 4: The best way to hear God is to be standing still.
- We have the ability to move forward with God. How do we do it?
- Understand the world’s needs
- Understand your strengths
- Research potential roles
- Research what it’s like
- Engage with people you know who are in it
- Seek community
All of this is critical as we face the question of where we work, and it is critical that we do it all with God.
Biblical references: Jeremiah 29:7; Romans 12:6-8; Jeremiah 17:9; John 16:24; 1 Timothy 5:8
- How is God transforming how you work?
- What is God showing you about why you work?
- What is God saying about where you work related to needs, giftings, desires and compensation?