Theology Thursday: God Cares About the Job I Have

By Austen Barraclough, M.Th.

Woman praying and working for the Lord with her computer

Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed that anxiety confronts us in the freedom of possibility. I suspect many of us have felt this kind of anxiety at one time or another, particularly when looking for a job. Living as free creatures in a free country, we likely have hundreds of ways we could try to make a living. But how do we decide which one to pursue? When we become lost in the sea of possibility, we feel what Kierkegaard calls “dizzying freedom.”

In response to this anxiety, we may be tempted to trivialize the entire process. We tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter what job we have. God certainly doesn’t care. If it pays the bills and stays out of our way enough to enjoy the “real” parts of life, we needn’t worry. This outlook relieves the monumental burden of finding the “perfect job” and protects us from the fear of taking the “wrong job.” Plus, it means I could never accidentally transgress God’s will and ruin his plans for me simply by choosing the wrong vocation.

Your Job and God’s Will

This view is not the biblical perspective. There is another way to alleviate this anxiety. In one sense, it is true: picking one job over another cannot remove me from God’s will; but it is not because God doesn’t care. It is because God’s will does not consist of one perfect job. God’s will is not like the lottery where I have to hope I picked the one winning number. It is more like the GPS that guides me to my destination from wherever I am or foolishly take myself. There are often multiple paths to the same end.

Thus, walking in God’s will is not about having a specific job. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” God’s will has more to do with my heart and character than my temporary job.

A Good Father

So, if His will is not why God cares about my job, then what is it? God cares about my job the way a father cares about his child’s development. God wants me to do something that challenges me to be the best I can be, that brings me joy, that I find meaningful and that will foster love. He wants these things for me because it delights him when I am thriving and disheartens him when I am not. He will disapprove of certain jobs only when they keep me from His grace.

He wants to use me for His kingdom through my work, not in spite of it. He doesn’t care about my job for the job’s sake, but for my sake. Because this is true, we can simultaneously reject the fear of having the “wrong job,” and embrace the fact that God deeply and intimately cares about the job I have.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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