Considering whether the substance of our work aligns with God’s heart and will is a vital reflective process. To not submit our work to this scrutiny is to wander through a haze, justifying our choices based on our whims and appetites and ending up at a destination other than where we ought to be.
In 1997, pastor John Piper published the following list of questions that can help kick off an earnest assessment of our current job or a contemplated one.
While extremely useful, there seems an inherent pitfall: reality falls short of aspiration.
Can any job satisfy all of Piper’s criteria? No. But just as holding Christ’s life and ministry up as the measuring stick for our own, the impossibility of it all hopefully keeps us humble and contrite, recognizing we must continue going to God to know whether to persevere through the muck and mire of difficult work or whether we should extricate ourselves and take up something else that moves us closer to God’s heart.
Use these questions to provoke and guide–and then spend some time in prayer.
Some Questions to Ask When Considering Your Current Job or a Future Job
By John Piper
1. Can you earnestly do all the parts of this job “to the glory of God,” that is, in a way that highlights his superior value over all other things? “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
2. Is taking this job part of a strategy to grow in personal holiness? “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
3. Will this job help or hinder your progress in esteeming the value of knowing Christ Jesus your Lord? “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7).
4. Will this job result in inappropriate pressures on you to think or feel or act against your King, Jesus? “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:23).
5. Will this job help establish an overall life-pattern that will yield a significant involvement in fulfilling God’s great purpose of exalting Christ among all the unreached peoples of the world? “Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
6. Will this job be worthy of your best energies? “Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
The rest of Piper’s list can be viewed at his website, Desiring God, by clicking here.