I get lots and lots of questions and comments each week. And yes, I try to write in ways that prompt your thinking – and challenge some old traditional beliefs that may not actually be true. We frequently establish our beliefs because of tradition and repetition – even if they are not true.
One self-defeating belief I see repeatedly is that I can remove responsibility for my miserable life by blaming Adam. That God punished Adam by making him work. Thus work for me now is a curse – a bitter pill – something to be endured but not enjoyed. Here’s a crystal clear description from a reader this week:
I am a 48 yr.-old career changer who has fallen flat on his face financially after leaving my first career as a CAD operator to pursue my passion of teaching Bible. I’ve invested too much into getting a master’s degree to turn back, so I feel like vocationally I’m back at square one, just starting out. I’ve come to see that seeking after our “dream job” more often than not leads to disappointment and despair–especially as we age and feel we are running out of time. We should rather learn to recognize the value in what we are already doing, and find our contentment in being good at it. Remember, work is part of the curse incurred by Adam’s sin–we are not promised fulfillment in it. God blesses each of us as He sees fit–some with great marriages, for instance, others with good health, and still others with rewarding careers. Though we make our plans, ultimately it is He who directs our steps and determines our path.
Okay, so why try? We are cursed because of Adam’s sin. God doesn’t promise us fulfillment in our work. Some enjoy it, some don’t. It’s all a matter of chance. Suck it up and accept your lot in life.
If I believed that I would close the doors of my business tomorrow. Everything I teach and speak about promotes that work is a gift from God. We have the privilege of integrating our God-given calling into fulfilling, purposeful and profitable work. If you’re not experiencing that kind of work, don’t blame God. We are not little robots that God delights in seeing miserable. I believe it grieves Him to see us put up with work that does nothing but extract a paycheck. Seeking after our “dream job” does not lead to “disappointment and despair” unless we were wishing and dreaming rather than creating a clear plan.
In Genesis 1 we read that God placed man in the garden to “tend and keep it.” This was before any sin. In Isaiah 65 we are told that in heaven we will have work assignments and will “fully enjoy the work of our hands.” The Bible is full teachings regarding the benefits of work that matters. Settling for less than enjoyable work is a cop-out; not a mature acceptance of some imagined punishment.