Your Career – Reframed By Jesus
One of the questions that frequently comes up when talking with men about maximizing their eternal impact is “Should I quit my job or give up my passions in order to better follow and serve Jesus?”
The following article by Mark Roberts does an excellent job of explaining how for most men desiring to follow Jesus more closely God is not calling you to abandon your current career or passions, but rather to “reframe” or reorient them to be better used for His glory.
Leveraging your career or passions for Kingdom ministry is something we love to talk about here at Man of Impact, so I encourage you to read the full article and be blessed by what you discover!
– Kent Eimers
by Mark D. Roberts
Original article available at the LifeForLeaders blog
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Last week, we considered the question: If I follow Jesus should I quit my job? The answer I suggested was: Perhaps, but not usually. Yes, there are times when the Lord calls us to leave one job for another. But, for the most part, the call of Jesus doesn’t require us to leave our jobs. Rather, it does encourage us to see them in a new light. In fact, following Jesus reframes our careers in light of our fundamental vocation. Let me explain what I mean.
I know dozens of marketplace leaders who are discovering how their careers can be reframed by Jesus. They are still “fishing,” but now they are “fishing” for the Lord.
Consider the case of Simon and Andrew. They had a career. They were fishermen. Then Jesus came along and called them to follow him. Following Jesus was their true calling, their fundamental vocation. (The words “calling” and “vocation” have basically the same meaning.) In light of this basic calling, Simon and Andrew would work in a new way. According to Jesus, they would be fishing for people, not fish. Yet, in a way, they would continue in the same career track, namely, fishing.
The Theology of Work commentary on this passage observes, “Jesus does not reject the earthly vocation of these men but reorients it. Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to be “fishers of people” (Mark 1:17), thereby affirming their former work as an image of the new role to which he is calling them.”
Of course, our situations aren’t exactly the same as that of Simon and Andrew. Nevertheless, I believe our response to the call of Jesus reframes our careers in an analogous way. Suppose, for example, you’re a business executive. You may have been operating with the assumption that your chief responsibility in your job is to maximize profit for the owner(s) of the business (perhaps the stockholders or maybe even yourself if you’re the owner). Then, as you respond to the call of Jesus and his proclamation of the kingdom, you realize that your job is about much more than merely maximizing profit. It’s about providing good work for employees and good products for customers. Even more broadly, it’s about contributing to the flourishing of society. It’s about glorifying God in everything you do at work as you seek to live each day under his reign.
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