(Concerns About Changing Jobs)
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
In today’s market, many people are expected to change jobs several times. It’s even common for one to change careers entirely. Each change comes with tension, doubt, expectations, and sometimes fear. Believers who face these issues often wonder what God wants them to do. Others may want God to make the decision for them. For most of us, the answer doesn’t just fall out of the sky. Most of us won’t hear the audible voice of God telling us exactly what to do. What then is the Christian to do?
What if the decision to change jobs / career is actually up to us? What if God wants us to make the decision based on how we can make the most use of our skills, gifts and abilities for the Gospel? What if we started, by making the most of where we currently are? (1 Corinthians 7:17-24) I realize that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, especially if we are uncomfortable in our current work environment. Perhaps the jokes, comments, language, and quotas make us feel that life would be easier if we just quit, and went somewhere else. Perhaps it would be easier, but what about the Gospel? What if you are in fact the only genuine Christian your co-workers may ever know? Jesus said, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT) Now, you may say, “Fr. Chris, policies at work forbid me to evangelize and talk about Jesus to my co-workers.” Then let the words often attributed to St. Francis remind us to “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words”.
We should ALL be open to whatever opportunities the Lord brings our way. But in the meantime, let’s make the most of where we are. Let’s be faithful in our current duties and responsibilities. Let’s let our light shine on those who walk in darkness. Let’s actually demonstrate the gospel with our work ethic. Let’s respond to unbelieving co-workers and difficult work environments with the fruit of The Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Let’s actually “take up” our cross and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24), remembering that we actually work for Him. (Colossians 3:23-24)