How do I help my children choose a career? As they move toward finishing high school, how do I guide them toward a college major, a career, or an employer? How do I counsel wisely at such critical moments? And how, especially, do I honor the Lord as I guide them into new, unknown territory?
How do you and I, as Christ-followers, sort through the world’s sometimes right, but usually subtly wrong, and often blatantly wrong, answers to these important questions?
For the world tells us to discern our own life direction, and help our children choose and discern theirs, by answering the following sets of questions (ones I now realize, with conviction, I’ve used in counseling my own children).
From Darren Maxfield’s “A Strategic Time”:
- Do your skills match up with the requirements of the job?
- What type of income will you earn in this field?
- Is this a stable career choice or will there be major changes coming?
- Will you be able to provide for a family, buy a nice house, live in a nice neighborhood?
- What are your friends doing?
- Will you live up to your parent’s expectations?
“I think I could make the argument that all those questions are irrelevant when determining how best to serve Christ in His ever expanding Kingdom…
These questions and the mindset behind them often lead to living for self, materialism and keeping up with the Joneses. It is so easy to get caught up in the “security” that a job, bank account, and a normal middle class life offer. The pursuit becomes maintaining that “security” and the “glory that comes from man.” (John 12:43)
…We pursue wealth and possessions. We are killing ourselves establishing a career and a reputation. How often do we consider why we are doing this? Are we truly serving our Master or are we serving mammon? Should we not instead ask questions like:
- How can I use my gifts and talents to serve God and His Kingdom?
- I know the harvest is ripe and the laborers are few, so how can I be a laborer for Christ?
- Does a large bank account really provide security?
- When will my retirement account begin to look like barns built to store grain so we can say: “relax, eat, drink, be merry?” (Luke 12:19)
- Does being a Christian in the workplace only mean seek out opportunities to share your faith with your co-workers?
- What does it mean to love my life and to hate my life in this world so that I may keep it for eternal life? (John 12:25, Matthew 16:24-26)
- How much do I value the glory that comes from man rather than the glory that comes from God? (John 12:43)
- What does living a life of risk look like in the Kingdom of God?
I can’t answer any of these questions on your behalf. Only you can as you pray and immerse yourself in God’s Word. But I can tell you that the world is trying to deceive you…
There is so much more to life that keeping up with the Joneses. What a waste of time, effort and life! God calls us to so much more. The Lord calls us to serve Him and He will make it clear where He wants us to be. But too often we succumb to the pressures of this world and those around us. When I look at Facebook and I see what we are spending our money on, how we spend our time and what we treasure in our hearts (Matthew 6:21), and the things that make us speak up about something — I’m a bit sickened.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
I challenge you to take a risk. Risk your life that God will provide in ways you cannot imagine. Trust that Jesus is greater than the treasures of this world.” (From In the Shadow of Mount Adams, Darren Maxfield’s blog. Maxfield and his family serve as missionaries to the Yakama Indian Reservation, WA)
Jesus is greater than the treasures of this world. You and I believe that. But do we, even in subtle ways, counsel our children as if pursuing wealth, possessions and security are most important? Do we?
Related: What do I want for my child?