What sort of careers can a Christian consider?Question: "What sort of careers can a Christian consider?"
Answer: At times we think that Christians should aspire to "Christian careers" like working at a church or in a parachurch ministry. We may realize that Christians can also work outside the walls of the church or the Christian name, but then we tend to limit ourselves to the “helping” professions. Christians can be doctors, nurses, teachers, child care workers, social workers, law enforcement officers, or counselors. But a businessman? A lawyer? An IT guru? An inventor? A builder? A fashion designer? A news anchor? A TV producer? A musician? An artist? We tend not to list these jobs among the most desirable work for Christians. There is nothing biblical about such a limiting stance.
Christians can consider almost any career. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. . . . Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) . . . So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God" (1 Corinthians 7:17, 20-21, 24). Paul does not tell the believers to leave their current work and become missionaries or pastors. He tells them to remain where they are and serve God there. Paul wrote something similar to the Colossians, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17). It is not so much what we are doing that matters, as for whom we are doing it. We glorify God when we work hard and cheerfully, whether as a pastor, an investor, an actor, a stay-at-home mother, or a barista.
Choosing a career can be difficult. Obviously, it is a matter for prayer. You should seek God's direction for His will for your life. It can also be helpful to examine the specific gifts God has given you. He makes us each different (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:4-8) with unique desires, talents, and interests, and for unique purposes. It is also helpful to talk with those who know you well. Such people can serve as wise counselors (Proverbs 15:22), often providing helpful insight. It may also be beneficial to shadow or interview someone in your potential career field or to volunteer in the field to which you feel drawn.
Christians may consider any career in which they can honor God and use the uniqueness with which God created them. Of course, there are certain careers that are inherently dishonoring to God—most of them not strictly legal, such as prostitution or pornography. But any career that does not require sin in its performance is laudable Christian work and can be done to the glory of God (Colossians 3:23).
Recommended Resource: Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot by Max Lucado
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Questions about Life Decisions
What sort of careers can a Christian consider?