I am trying to decide whether to take a part time job.
And as I consider this, I ask myself, “Are my motives pure? Am I seeking to please God by taking this job, or am I driven by personal desire for fulfillment?”
I see so many people who are driven by their own personal demons. Many times they don’t even see that this is happening, or if they do, they don’t allow themselves to acknowledge it. I don’t want this to be the case with me.
The verse I have been thinking of this week is, “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” (Prov 18:9) I am totally struck by this verse. Basically, if we are lazy, we are being destructive. It is like the universe is a slave to the law of entropy, and if I don’t do my part, if I don’t make positive efforts, then the negative gains ground. People do not get exposed to the good news that could change the direction of their lives. I do not address the harmful things in my character. I do not help others with the harmful things in their character.
One of the areas I feel convicted about regarding being slack in my work is in sharing my faith. I do reach out to people, but I’m not consistent. This is something I have decided to work on in my character until it changes. I have begun compiling a list of scriptures that I am reading every day to ultimately alter my heart and my actions.
And the attitude I have had is that it really matter a lot if I don’t share my faith. That is why I was so struck by the proverb about laziness being destructive. I realized that it does matter if I miss opportunities, that it is contributing to the negative direction of the universe.
I have been reading a great article about the reason there are many atheists today who are former Christians. One thing they mention is that they don’t respect many Christians today. One of them said, “I really can’t consider a Christian a good, moral person if he isn’t trying to convert me.”
This statement was highlighted in another great article by Alistair Sterne. He said that if we don’t share our faith, it is ultimately because we doubt God and don’t believe, which leads to inactivity. The point the atheists make, and that Sterne makes, is that true belief drives all behavior. We are all driven by something, and the actions we take reveal what we believe and what is true and important to us.
Sterne said, “We have received a message that reveals every square inch of the universe being renewed by God, that every fracture of your heart and soul is being mended by Jesus, and a message that sets you right with God. Regardless if people recognize it, this is what they need, not solely because it will improve their lives but because it is truth. And to not share the truth, and to present its implications and eternal significance, is immoral.”
That is why the possibility of a job frightens me, because it can reveal in me something is more important to me than God. I have in the past, and I could again, totally let the job swallow up other aspects of my life.
I am driven to achieve. Sometimes as I help others, I am driven for them to achieve. I am reading the Boundaries book and it is good to remember that I cannot grow for the other person, they can only grow themselves: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Phil 2:12-13
I can get so driven that I try to drag God along with me. I keep thinking that I need to do this and that, or this and that needs to happen, and I need Him to help.
God creates each of us with certain proclivities, certain drives. It is not wrong to be driven, it is only wrong to be driven by the wrong motivations.
So if I am to be driven, I want to be driven to fulfill what God created me for. “And let us run with perseverance the race MARKED OUT for us.” (Hebrews 12:1) I want to run the race that God has personally marked out for me. Here is part of a song I wrote about Hebrews 12:
“I’ve got a race.
Let me set my face.
To follow the dreams etched in my heart,
By Your grace.”
And so I don’t want to be driven by my insecurities. I want to be driven by what I know to be true and beautiful. I don’t want to ask God to go with me in the direction I feel I must take, but I want to be sure that I am a part of His monumental movement, His plan that has been going forward since the earth began.
Will I take this job? I don’t know. But if I do, it must be because I believe it is following the dreams God etched on my heart; it is part of who I am and who He is. I want nothing so much as knowing that God is in control, and that I take each step in concert with Him, anticipating the awesome things he will do.