I’m reading through The Gospel at Work as part of my church’s weekly Mens Morning Study. This weeks chapter was on How Should I Choose A Job? This is a topic I haven’t put much thought into. Until now. After the study, I had time to reflect and consider what I would say if someone asked me for advice. Here is what I would like to say if I ever do get invited to counsel someone in finding work.
Work is a Gift from God
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Growing up, I believed work was a curse. Here, However, we see that God instituted work before the fall. Work is good. In fact, work is very good. Work was a part of the world when God declared that everything was “very good”.
If you are pursuing work, you are seeking a good thing. So begin your pursuit of employment with thanksgiving to God for allowing us to be a part of cultivating His creation.
Work is Hard
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
It wasn’t long until work was cursed though. With one turn of the page, we see that the world went from “very good” to a world filled with thorns, thistles and resistance to our work.
Work is hard, and so if you are pursuing it, prepare to work hard. Prepare to put time, energy and sweat into it. Many today believe that they should be paid because they are using their time. But, this is a lousy indicator – because you may be wasting your time. You should be getting paid only if you are using your time for your employer. Playing Angry Birds behind your employers back when you should be peeling potatoes doesn’t constitute hard work; instead, it’s a sin.
Remember the Lord
You shall have no other gods before Me.
Don’t make work an idol. Idols are not only weird statues some people pray to. An idol can be anything. If you place work as higher in importance than you do God, then work has become an idol. Make sure you don’t do this by asking yourself these questions:
- Does this job glorify God?
The primary purpose of any creature is to glorify the Creator. So if your work is prohibiting you from being able to do this – don’t do it. Find another job.
- Will this job allow me to continue growing in my walk with the Lord? Or, put negatively, will this job hinder me from pursuing God?
If you have a problem with drink don’t work in a bar; it will obviously cause you to stumble. But more likely, the question you’ll have to consider is will you work on Sundays? At times you may have to, the Lord does call us to provide (1 Tim 5:8). But, if this starts impacting your growth – look for another job.
- Am I choosing this job because it will make me “cool”? If so, pride has come into the equation, and you need to remember whos honour you are after; yours, or the Lords?
There are many other things I would like to say if someone does end up asking me for advice. Hopefully, by then I would’ve thought it through more and can more easily direct them to helpful passages in Scripture. What are some wise words of wisdom that you would give someone looking for a job?