I went to teach my two 8th grade classes yesterday and the theme of the lesson was the importance of choosing a profession. After finishing the Bible study “What does the Bible say about sex”, I have been invited to add a Biblical perspective on the topics covered over the course of the rest of the semester during civics class. Yesterday’s topic was careers, as I have already mentioned. I would like to share some of the truths from the lesson here.
I. Why do some young people not feel the need to have professions?
(1) They put all of their hope in the inheritance that they will receive from the parents. This is a bad way of thinking. In fact, the Bible warns of this type of mindset and tells us to avoid it.
21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end. (Proverbs 20)
As I prepared to teach this lesson and read the above passage, I immediately thought of the Prodigal Son, how he attained his inheritance and then went off and wasted it in loose living. He was definitely not feeling blessed in the end as he longed to fill his belly with the pig slop. If you are basing your living on the inheritance that you will receive or winning the lottery etc. and not on choosing to learn a good profession and working hard then your end will not be blessed, even if you do get lucky with a get rich quick scheme.
(2) They base their future on their parents’ good name. They believe that all doors will be opened up to them during their future because their parents have a good name and that name will be transferred to them as well. While it is true that a good name is very important, the Bible teaches us so in Proverbs,
A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.
A good name must be earned, not inherited so just as your parents worked hard to attain a good name so each child must do the same.
(3) They base their future on the high societal positions that their parents have achieved. The problem with this way of thinking is that those who are in charge today may not be in charge tomorrow and the new leaders may not respect your parents high position or even know about it and then you may be left out in the cold if you do not have a good profession. There is a man named Daniel in the Old Testament, who came from a good family yet he was taken captive and enslaved. He understood the value of working hard, making a good name for himself, and learning a good profession. The king saw this and took him into his court as a leader. Four kings and 2 empires came and went yet Daniel remained in his high position because he worked hard to have a good profession and was a man of integrity.
II. Jesus had a profession
Interestingly enough, many people do not realize that Jesus Christ had a profession. He was the son of a carpenter and therefore learned the trade Himself. Not only was He a carpenter, He was also a teacher. He invested His life in 12 ordinary men who in turn would change the future of humanity. It is therefore important to have a trade because it gives you access to people and opportunities to invest in them and their future which can impact the future of a family, a society, a nation, and even the world. If we are followers of Christ then we need to follow Him, do as He did/commanded us to do. As I was preparing, I also thought of the Apostles Paul and Peter who both had professions, as well as Daniel who was already mentioned. There is also Nehemiah. A good profession allows us to earn a living, take care of ourselves and family as well as help the people around us. Most importantly, we have access to people because we offer a service to them. As we interact we can share the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ and seek opportunities to make disciples, which is a fulfillment of the Great Commission that we have all been given as followers of Christ.
III. Advice on choosing a good profession
(1) Ask yourself some important questions.
- What would you like to accomplish during your lifetime?
- What major goals do you want to achieve with the rest of your time here on this earth?
- What are the major regrets that most people have on their death bed? (I wish I had spent more time building relationships) Understand this mistake and do not fall into the same pit. Life is about relationships, with God and the people around you. Choose a career that will allow you to invest in building relationships.
(2) Choose a career that will allow you to invest in the lives of others. It will be a double blessing because you will be able to provide for your family and at the same time avoid the regrets that many have on their death bed. Also, as you invest in people, you will have many, many opportunities to make disciples of Christ.
(3) Do not waste time learning a profession that you are not passionate about. Some students choose professions based on what their parents want or social status. They are the ones who end up wasting their time and their parents’ money because they either may not finish or they may finish and then work in another field. If it is done for social status or money then their job enslaves them because they do it for reasons other than the joy of serving others.
(4) Do not learn a trade/profession just to get rich. Riches never bring long term happiness and satisfaction. The Bible has much to say on this subject and we need to know it.
4 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. 5 When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. (Proverbs 23)
If you are working to “get rich” then you are wasting your time, efforts, and energy because riches are here today and gone tomorrow. As soon as you attain riches and set your eyes on them, they grow wings and fly away. You are left alone and miserable because many times, people sacrifice relationships in order to get rich. In the end, they are left with no riches and few relationships.
9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6)
Money and riches are not evil but the love of money, the desire to do anything at any cost to get money and riches is the root of all sorts of evil. Those who lived controlled by the love of money will end up in ruin and with lives of destruction. If you want many griefs in this life, choose a profession based on the love of money and dedicate your life to attaining it. I do not want this for anyone.
May the Lord help us understand the importance of choosing a good profession and using that profession to serve others. God bless.