Having provided a clear biblical framework for how we should think about work, the authors of?The Gospel at Work?(TGaW) turn to important practical issues that face the Christian wanting to see the Lordship of Christ expressed in every aspect of their lives including their work.
In Chapter 5, the issue of choosing a job is the focus. Firstly, it is acknowledged that the whole idea of job choice is a modern Western concept as a result of specialisation, mobility and education. ?
Returning to the themes of idolatry and idleness, the authors identify potential errors in our job choice thinking:
- Finding ‘the right job’ can be about our own status and salary – an example of idolatry
- We may fail to pray and seek guidance for our employment – an example of idleness?
We avoid these traps when we start our thinking with God as our first priority, others as our second priority and our ourselves as third priority. ?The authors suggest six questions to help assess job opportunities from this perspective:
- Does this job glorify God? – some lines of work are immediately discounted for the Christian (selling drugs, being a hit man!)
- Does this job permit me to live a godly life? – Can I obey God in this job? Can I care for and love my family? Will this job require me to disobey God in some way?
- Does this job provide for my needs and allow me to be a blessing to others? – The scriptures are clear (1 Timothy 5:8) that we work to provide for the needs of ourselves and our families and those in need.
- Does this job benefit society in some way??- this can be hard to quantify but it is worth considering.?
- Does this job take advantage of my gifts and talents??– this is not always possible nor is it a promise God makes but when it does happen, it is a great blessing and a cause for thanksgiving.
- Is this job something I want to do? – Doing something we want to do is a great but remember the command of Colossians 3:23 – ‘whatever you do’.
Most people, including Christians, invert?the order of these questions so that we place the ‘nice-to-haves’ first and the ‘must-haves’ last – we make our wants and desires first priority rather than our service to the King!
?And finally, remember that God directs our steps through present opportunities – look at what God puts in front of you today. ?Referring to Proverbs 12:11 and 28:19, the authors state bluntly:?‘Don’t chase fantasies. Take advantage of the opportunities you have right now instead of dreaming fancifully about opportunities you may never have.”
Murray Wright (24/11/2014)