If you don’t know this already, I quit my advertising job about 4 months ago. With every job, it seems that God teaches me more about myself as he did this one. But, outside of “that kind of marketing wasn’t my thing” I have been trying to come to an understanding with myself about a couple things. First, a few dreams that I had doubts about pursuing (and now am) and second, working through my own heart issue of understanding the difference between faith and responsibility.
As much as I try to plan out my life, I struggle to know what I am doing. I also don’t want my decisions to be based on other people’s interpretation of what I “should be doing”. It needs to be my decision and one based on a steady, growing relationship with God. Feedback from wise people and those that know you well is good too. But if you haven’t already figured it out a lot of people don’t give you honest advice. Why? Because our culture is accustomed to saying “you should do whatever you want” which is similar to the statement “God wants to make you happy”. This is an epidemic regardless of whether you’re in a church or not. We may not say those words but we disguise the same statement as different ones and put Jesus behind it to make it sound better. But, both are flat wrong. Then there are those that are so close to you that they just worry about you if you aren’t “safe”. And that’s not the kind of advice I want to live by, although I will take it into consideration. And then there is God’s will and our misunderstanding with how that works. What does God want? I am beginning to formulate a simple interpretation. From my study of the Scripture it seems God’s will is centered around us obeying Him, not around the specific details of our personality. For instance, Jesus spoke very clearly to his disciples about following Him. But, I don’t recall Jesus ever talking to any of the disciples specifically about their day jobs or who they should marry, etc. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care or isn’t in control. Because Scripture supports this idea too. But, in the same way God doesn’t tell you where to go to college or which service project we should get involved in. He uses our obedience to Him to guide and direct based on our own passions He has placed in our hearts. The main thing is, are we being obedient? As he converts our hearts and minds, God gives way for a passion that can be fulfilled that transends culture and community and people and time. That’s one of the great things about the gospel of Christ. God wants us to obey and will use us regardless of what color, creed, place, or time that He has us.
Because of this fact that God uses people based on their own personalities, situations, or needs, faith and responsibility is something that we cannot regulate. We cannot “coin” how the two are to work in perfect harmony for every individual. At the same time, we must be diligent to not let Christ be an “excuse”. Outside of our commitment and obedience to Christ through His word and growing in this relationship with Him, we should be careful the Christianese we use to justify our actions or what God’s will is for your life and mine.
So, I have in a sense started over in the way I want to work and how that should look. Here are a few thoughts:
1) I don’t want to fake it. I don’t want to convince people that I care about a company or job when I really don’t. My apathy is too hard to disguise and it affects me and everyone around me.
2) I don’t want to live for the weekend. I don’t want to live my life “outside of work”. I think it’s absurd that anyone actually believes that they can. I want to be responsible and obedient in every part of my life because I know this flows over to every aspect of my life.
3) I am understanding more about how I try to push or plan to a point where I put false hope in those plans. This continually leads to disappointment. I must be able to keep things in perspective where it has the opportunity to take its natural course. I want to focus but not have tunnel vision.
4) I realize that God wants the opportunity to take credit and to keep me humble. I can’t treat my job or my relationships as a rule book to be followed. It is instead something that has its own personality and is groomed by my efforts and in time my affections.
5) I want to be a bond-servant of Christ. This is possibly the greatest revelation. Think about this aspect of serving in your job as a slave as it’s suggested in Colossians 3:22-24. After reading it, don’t add any “well this means”, just read it. It says you are a slave. Regardless of whether the act of slavery is fair or not, do it. My response-but I don’t want to! So what! You’re not working for them, you’re working for God. If you love God, you will obey. I want to work in a way that I can be satisfied with doing the job the best I can, whatever they ask. I can work to fulfill my passions with the other time. It seems having this attitude would require me to be more intentional if you think this way. Why? Because I am a slave by my own choosing. There is no if’s and’s or buts.