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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we continue this rather long series, entitled, “Making the Best of a Bad Decision.” Specifically, today we’re talking about your vocation. Those of you who are in a job that may be very boring. It may be beneath you. Last time we talked about Moses, who was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and yet ended up being a shepherd for 40 long years—overqualified for his job obviously and you may feel the same way. Or you may feel that there is injustice where you work. You should be paid more, other people are being promoted and you are not, and so on and on it goes. Now, let’s think about this. What if we were to take your job and see it as a divine calling from God. Would that change everything? I think it would.
First of all, what you need to do is to change your attitude and the best way to change your attitude is to give thanks to God for everything. I discovered that when the Bible says, “In everything give thanks” that that is so transforming because now you’re giving thanks to God for your situation, for the boring job that you are in and you are really now seeing God in the midst of your dilemma. It’s amazing the difference that a change of attitude makes. You know, years ago I read the book by Viktor Frankl, entitled “Man’s Search for Meaning.” It’s all about the concentration camps in Germany. What he discovered is this. The people who survived were not necessarily the best educated or even the more physically fit. They were people who were able to accept their circumstances with a sense of optimism. Many of the believers among them, they were able to see God even in the midst of their trials. It’s that that really changed everything.
Something else that is absolutely critical is you have to change employers. Change masters. Look at what the apostle Paul wrote. He says, “Slaves obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling with a sincere heart as you would Christ. Not by way of eye-service as people-pleasers but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” What Paul was even saying to slaves is simply this, that you are serving Christ. Now, Paul goes on to admonish the masters to be kind to their slaves but the point is simply this—you can imagine how difficult the condition was of many people to whom the apostle Paul wrote these words from the book of Ephesians chapter six. But at the same time, Paul was saying you have to see your vocation as serving Christ and not man. That means you’re going to be faithful, you’re going to do what you can to make Christ look good and you bring Him glory, because—”whether we eat or drink we do all for the glory of God.”
Now, perhaps you say, “Well, Pastor Lutzer this is quite a stretch.” It is. What if you tried it? What if you asked God for the grace to thank Him for the job that you have? That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t improve yourself. Of course, if you can get a better job you should do it but thank God for the job that you now have, no matter how boring, and you say to yourself. “I’m doing all this for Jesus.” What a difference that makes.
You know, Elizabeth Elliot was a great writer. She is in heaven today. All of us know about her husband, of course, who was killed by the Auca Indians, but she spent two years of her life trying to break down the language in Ecuador that she was associated with so that she could translate the New Testament into their language. There were no photocopies. A whole suitcase worth of work was stolen. They looked high and low for that suitcase and they never found it. So, I said to her, “Were you angry with God? Two years of work basically wasted!” She said, “Why no” she said “—I did that work for Jesus Christ. That was my worship and my offering to Him and that isn’t lost.” My friend today if you live for the glory of God wherever He has planted you, that is your act of worship, whether or not you feel that you are being paid correctly or not. And, of course, we are all in favor of justice, but oftentimes that is difficult in coming. The fact is this: Do it for Christ and that will never be lost. And as for today, you just go with God.