How to Think Christianly about a Job Change

Outdoor workers“Should I change jobs?”  That question isn’t easy to answer and the decision to accept a new position is often equally challenging because of the trade-offs that often need to be made.  Even in circumstances where there are clear benefits such as a significant increase in pay or career opportunities, Christians should think carefully about their motives.  Here are some questions to consider related to the impact of the move could have on you, your family, your relationships and service to God.

Questions for all positions:

  • What ethical challenge does the new company’s products pose?  Can you do the work as if you’re serving God (Ephesians 6:7, Colossians 3:23)?
  • Do the company’s values and priorities align with yours?  Do your new manager’s values pose any challenges to your own leading you to a potential compromise (1 Corinthians 15:33)?
  • Does the new role provide you with increased influence over decisions that positively impact the world for God?  Does it expand you opportunities to tell others about Him relative to your current job?
  • How will time with your family be impacted by the work commitment, commute or travel?  How will your time for church and other service activities be affected?  Will your time for Bible study and prayer be diminished or increased?
  • Are you pursuing the change purely for a pay increase (1 Timothy 6:10)?  Do you plan to invest the additional compensation to further God’s kingdom?
  • Are you taking the position out of pride or to keep up with your peers rather than what’s best for you and your family (Ecclesiastes 4:4)?  Can you say that your decision glorifies God (1 Corinthians 10:31)?  When you give an account to God, what will be your rationale for the decision?

Additional questions when a move is necessary:

  • What impact will your move have on your church family given your current involvement?  What other organizations that you’re committed to will be feel the loss of your commitment?
  • What discipleship relationships at your office or in your neighborhood will be hindered by leaving?  What evangelistic work will end?  What opportunities does the new role open up to influence others or make a difference for Christ?
  • Can you find a church that you’re comfortable with that reflects your doctrinal priorities?  Will you grow spiritually more or less than at your existing church?
  • How will the move impact your parents or siblings in areas of care and involvement in your children’s lives?
  • Does your family adjust well to change including making new friends? (introverts have a more difficult time adjusting) Will a fresh start be good for your kids and spouse or do they have many good friends who they’ll lose the relationships with?
  • What is the net change in compensation after differences in taxes (state, city, county) and housing costs are taken into account?

The questions can be summed up by considering what you give up, what you gain and whether that trade-off glorifies God.  The point is that a move shouldn’t be taken lightly because of all of the parties affected.  Career progression must not become an idol for Christians.  Use the list of questions to guide your thinking and spend time before God in prayer asking that he guide your decision in a way that you might best serve Him.

In addition, mediate on the words of C.H. Spurgeon.  He wrote this to explain how work can hinder prayer, but the thought applies to career decisions as well.

Not content to earn as much as is necessary for themselves and families, some must have much more than they can possibly enjoy for themselves or profitably use for others…Many a man who might have been of great service to the church of God becomes useless because he must branch out in some new direction in business, which takes up all his spare time. Instead of feeling that his first care should be, “How can I best glorify God?” his all-absorbing object is to “stretch his arms like seas and grasp in all the shore”…Beware of “the lusts of other things” (Mar 4:19), the cancer of riches, the greed insatiable that drives men into the snare of the devil.

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About PS

The mission of James’ Mirror is to guide you to Christian resources such as books, articles and sermons that will enhance your knowledge of God (doctrine) and encourage your obedience to Him (discipleship).
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