Last Sunday we were thinking about God’s guidance and how it relates to our work. I suggested six questions to ask of any new job that we may be thinking about (with thanks to 9Marks ministries for the original idea):
1) Does this job honour God? That is to say, can I do this job without sinning? If a job would lead us to sin then it is off-limits for the Christian. There will be some grey areas according to conscience (e.g. alcohol, the military) but this is still a good question to ask.
2) Will this job enable me to lead a godly life? Can I do this job and still be faithful in other areas of life, e.g. as a faithful spouse, parent, friend or church member?
3) Will this job allow me to provide for myself and others? Will it pay the bills and provide for basic necessities for those who depend on me?
4) Will this job benefit the cause of the gospel/ God’s work in the world? Some Christians have got less involved in the local church to have more of an impact through their work (Christian headmaster, professor, lawmaker, etc). Some have got less involved in their work to have more of an impact through serving God at church. Both are valid. What opportunities are there for the gospel through your work?
5) Will this job use my skills and gifts?
6) Do I actually want to do this job? When I speak to people about their options at work I always ask them “what do you want to do?” as God can lead us and guide us through what we are passionate about. It is not true that God will always want us to do something that we don’t like.
We need to say that not all of these questions will always be relevant at all stages of life. For instance, someone who saves money to volunteer for a year, or who is still sitting exams, is not going to be able to answer “yes” to number 3. But they are still good questions to ask. How would you evaluate your current work in the light of them?