Everyone needs to eat, and make the payments to the bank, and that is a problem. In modern times we have careers with long-term plans. In Bible times they had slaves, and kings, and warriors.
So how do we live today? What is a career for a Christian?
The Bible tells us to work, and to work hard, and this is a curse we can’t escape from: “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.” (Genesis 3:19). I don’t see an exciting career in those words.
If you follow the news, some fabulous careers are coming apart and collapsing these days. 2017 is the great year of the scandal, and in the news, that usually means sex crimes by powerful people. We can easily miss the other allegations of dirty politics, espionage, terrorism, and financial fraud; and I’m sure I missed something. We live in an information age when there are no safe secrets, and the wave of scandals is taking down the rich and famous like a social grass fire.
This makes the news interesting, but it is also an important career lesson; rich and famous people, who are walking definitions of career success, are losing their careers. This is outside of the advice we have for career success.
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Bookstores and the Internet have an endless supply of advice for success in our careers, and I am sure most of this is excellent advice, but it doesn’t fit what is happening today. I believe most career advice is for yuppies in the eighties, and we are not there anymore. Career advice was; look in and look up. See the place where you want to be an insider, and see how high you can climb.
It’s all different now. We need to look out and look down; see our lives outside of work, and see how far we could fall. This is the new career advice.
I know someone in the military who told me to take down any pictures of him in uniform, on sites like Facebook. He had to keep a low social profile because of his military career.
I also know an apartment manager who always does an Internet name search with a new application. If the management company finds something undesirable, they do not offer an apartment, and they don’t like to explain. Employment agencies do the same kind of search; and employers can monitor their employees and demote or fire them because of something in their private lives.
It’s scary, and it’s the new reality.
I recently learned about a man who had a great career in my city. He probably had a six-figure income and he got to shake hands with all the important people. I never met him because I am too far down the ladder, but I worked in his organization. Somehow, he bought into the lie that rich and powerful men can get what they want. He found an attractive young woman and promoted her in his organization, and you guess the rest.
She introduced him to recreational drugs, and then he lost his job, his wife left him, and the young woman lost interest. Apparently, he is now homeless, with a drug problem. He failed to look out and down.
Strangely, this new reality is a career opportunity for devout religious people. In the U.S., the Secret Service and the FBI recruit large numbers of scandal-free Mormons. Most religious people can pass a drug test.
So, we are spinning in a huge circle and going back to careers in Bible times, except maybe without the slaves. It’s all about the person outside of the job, and we can fall very far if we don’t learn this. The good-without-God crowd is falling like bowling pins and employers need people who are made good by God.
If you need more success in your employment, I hope God will give that to you, and I hope you will be good to others, when you get there.
In Proverbs 21:
Do what is right and fair. The Lord loves that more than sacrifices. (verse 3)
The bad things that evil people do will destroy them, because they refuse to do what is right. (verse 7)
People who try hard to do good and be faithful will find life, goodness, and honor. (verse 21)
Good people know they are right, but the wicked have to pretend. (verse 29)
You can prepare your horses for battle, but only the Lord can give you the victory. (verse 31)