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Nonetheless, the gifts you already have may give you some indication about how to best meet the needs of the world. Career guidance via skills and gifts is a difficult balancing act, which is why it must be sought in the midst of relationship with God and fellow Christians. Here again, we must not become focused on work to the exclusion of the rest of life. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.

Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. Christians sometimes expect that if God calls them to some job, it will be something they hate. Otherwise, why would God have to call them to it? But the best missionaries have a great desire for the place and people they serve.

Besides, who says God wants you to be a missionary? However, it can be exceedingly difficult to get in touch with your truest or deepest desires. Our motivations become so confused by sin and the brokenness of the world that our apparent desires are often far from the true desires that God has implanted in the depths of our hearts.

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But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead…. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Joanna Gaines, co-host of HGTV's "Fixer Upper," shares how following God's direction — even while questioning it — has led to experiences beyond her wildest dreams. And the opposite is often true. The work that would fulfill your true desire appears at first to be undesirable, and may require great sacrifice and difficult labor. And your truest desires may be met in many areas of life, not necessarily in work.

But at least you can get rid of the idea that God only calls you to something you hate.

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These three considerations — the needs of the world, your skills and gifts, and your truest desires — are guides, but they are not absolutes. For one thing, in a fallen world, you may have very little ability to choose your job anyway. Rather, it seems that circumstances prevent most people from choosing jobs they truly desire to do.

It simply means that God is with you wherever you work.


Even in the developed economies, many people have little choice about the kind of work they do for a living. In Christ, believers have perfect freedom:. That means you have the freedom to take risks, to fail, and to make mistakes. Would you be willing to take that job? Take heart, at the end, you will not be judged on getting the right job or fulfilling your God-given potential. The body of Christ on earth is the community of believers Romans We have already seen that the needs of the world a form of community are important as you discern what kind of work God is leading you towards.

What do they experience as your gifts and skills, the needs of the world, and the deepest desires they discern in you? The community is also an essential element in discerning who is led to the different kinds of work needed in the world.

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Many people may have similar gifts and desires that can help meet the needs of the world. But it may not be that God wants all of them to do the same work. You need to discern not only the work God is leading you to, but also the work he is leading others to.

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The community needs a balanced ensemble of workers working in harmony. One by one, medical students are matching their gifts, desires and the needs of the world to discern a leading toward medicine. But all-in-all, the ensemble of physicians is becoming a bit unbalanced. Many Christians have the impression that church workers — especially evangelists, missionaries, pastors, priests, ministers and the like — have a higher calling than other workers. While there is little in the Bible to support this impression, by the Middle Ages, "religious" life — as a monk or nun — was widely considered holier than ordinary life.

Regrettably, this distortion remains influential in churches of all traditions, even though the doctrine of virtually every church today affirms the equal value of the work of lay people. In the Bible, God calls individuals both to church-related and non-church-related work. For example:. Then bring near to you your brother Aaron, and his sons with him, from among the Israelites, to serve me as priests — Aaron and Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen.

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When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. Rather it shows that God calls people in all walks of life.

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He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. Given the Biblical evidence, it would be inaccurate to think that God calls church workers but not other types of workers. However, as in the Bible itself, these situations are rarely direct, unmistakable, personal calls from God. Rather, they may describe a strong sense of guidance by God. All Christians are called that is, commanded to conduct everything they do, round the clock, as full-time service to Christ :. Before concluding our discussion on this point, we should note that one stream of thought views 1 Timothy as contradicting the view we have just laid out. According to this perspective, being a church elder roughly equivalent to a pastor or priest in modern church usage is in fact a higher calling.

But most Bible commentaries reject this interpretation. People whose circumstances lead them to illegitimate work are not necessarily bad people. Deuteronomy condemns prostituting yourself, for example, yet Christ's response to prostitutes was not condemnation, but deliverance Luke ; Matthew He quit that job to go create a financial planning and wealth management firm. A call to ministry or church work is no more sacred than a call to other types of work. What matters most is not one's job title or place of work, but obedience to God, the one who calls us. William D. If God leads or guides people to their work, could it ever be legitimate to change jobs?

Martin Luther, the 16 th century Protestant theologian, famously argued against changing jobs. This was based largely on his understanding of this passage:. Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. If you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. Miroslav Volf has written that since the factors by which God guides people to work may change over the course of a working life, God may indeed guide people to change their work.

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He may lead you to bigger tasks that require you to change jobs.