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Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Hate My Job, Now What? Part II

So maybe you went through my first post on when to quit your job and decided that reason #1 didn't fit your situation. Maybe you're not forced to compromise your standards, but maybe reason #2 applies to you:

2.) Your job takes away your time with God or family- This is a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes certain jobs call us to work long and unhealthy hours. If you work a normal 40-50 hour week, you should be able to make time for God, and family if you're married. But maybe some of you are required to work more than 8-10 hour days. Perhaps you put on 70-90 hours a work week. If you're single, are you able to still have a decent quiet time with God? I don't mean 15 minutes in the morning either. If you find that your life is becoming all about work and that's pretty much the only thing you are able to do, it's time to find something else. Having a time-consuming job can also have a bigger effect upon having a family, as it's harder to balance God, family, and work all at the same time, especially with long hours. Dad may be the best surgeon in the world, but what kind of man is he if he is too tired to read God's Word or misses seeing his family for days at a time? How will his children react to a situation like this? What about the men who leave their family for extended periods of time- I'm talking about being available to the family only for a couple months out of the year. There are jobs like that, which are fine for singles but what happens when dad is gone most of the time? Children need their dad just as much as their mom and moms need the support of their spouse just as much.

As I said before, these are tough choices to make. If you've spent your whole life working in a job that was time-consuming, it can be difficult to get out of- but it's worth it for God and your family. Here are the questions to ask yourself-

1.) How much time do I have for God with this job?
2.) Am I even able to spend quality time with God while working this job, or am I too exhausted most times?

If you answer in the negative, it's time to prayerfully consider quitting. Deciding if you should just quit before having another job offer lined up or quitting after you find another job is a matter between you and God that you need to be in prayer over.

If you found that this didn't apply to you, stay tuned for my next post which is Part III of this series!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Hate My Job, Now What?

Photo by Catalin Pop. Used with permission.
Most of us can relate to that statement. If you can't, then you're very fortunate. But for those of us who are bogged down with this question, I have a three-part series to share with you in response to this daunting question.

Sometimes we just get bogged down with the demands of work or a new boss or employee and all of a sudden things are very different and very unpleasant. Sometimes it's unpleasant from the start. Most of the time it's not necessarily the job that's disliked, rather it's the employees or the leadership that is disliked. We live in a fallen world with sinful human beings, so it's expected to have an unreasonable boss, a lazy boss, lazy co-workers, etc. We're always going to have to deal with something we don't like in the employment world. So when do I know, as a Christian wanting a Biblical standpoint, when it's time to call it quits when I'm sick of my job?
1.) When it calls me to compromise my standards or do something unethical. There are many businesses that call for unethical practices, and sometimes they're businesses we don't expect that to come from. Here are a couple (true) examples of this:

Example #1- My boss has a suspicious backroom that is restricted to certain employees. I one day happen to stumble upon this restricted door, to find it open, and then find out my boss is growing pot.

Example #2- My boss tells me that as the teacher, if I don't give my students passing grades, I'll be fired.

The first example is an issue of breaking the law. Working for a company that breaks the law looks bad on you as well, even if you're not in on participating in the illegal act. You too can be caught up in the entire operation and risk going to jail as well. Not only that, it's not good for your reputation as a Christian. There might not be many people who believe that you had nothing to do with breaking the law. We should always value our ability to represent Christ well and do our utmost to be sure that's not ruined. Working for a company who blatantly refuses to follow the government's standards means that you're condoning what they're doing by not quitting or addressing the serious issue. By ignoring the issue, you're brushing it aside and compromising your values, casting a blind eye on something very serious to God- obeying the government.

The second issue confronts your moral standards. Will you do what is right in God's eyes or man's eyes? We answer to God, not to man. The answer is easy, but the action is harder. Is my job more important or is God? Do I trust God to provide if I happen to lose my job? Our actions show what we really believe about God.

These are two examples of instances when it is appropriate to leave a job, or just do the right thing and leave it up to God. Maybe it's a test to see if you'll do the right thing- maybe you won't be fired. Whatever the ultimate end, you must make the right choice.

I'll be back in a few days to follow up with Part 2 for more reasons to know when it's time to call it quits. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Who's First in Your Life?

Photo by Jesper Noer. Used with permission.
           "Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me."                              
                                                                     A.W. Tozer

A very true statement. Sometimes the things we do, see, and become in life seem harmless to begin with and then infiltrate our lives, gradually blinding us to the fact that God's now on the back
burner of our life. Reading our Bible is one of the ways we can put God first in our lives. A couple of weeks ago I talked about the importance of prayer, and this week I wanted to talk about the equal importance of the Bible in our lives.

Take some time to think about these questions and honestly answer them:

What's the first thing you think of when you wake up? Is it about all the errands you need to run? About getting to work on time?

What's the first thing you do when you wake up? Check your phone for notifications?

What do you do with your money when you first receive your paycheck?

 Do any of those firsts begin with God? You can always tell what your focus is by finding a pattern in your life of firsts.

I can honestly say the first thing I do when I wake up is check my texts and emails. It's a very bad habit that has infiltrated my life. But of course since when is reading texts and emails sinful? Not usually unless the content is bad. But then that's the scope of what we deem as wrong and we continue to let seemingly harmless things into our life turn into an addiction.  There's nothing wrong with reading books with appropriate content or even exercising, but when these harmless hobbies become an addiction where I spend more time with them than God, this is sin.

Evaluate your responses and see what's keeping you from making God first. I'd encourage you to take the challenge- instead of reaching for whatever it is you do first in the morning, reach for your Bible instead. Instead of thinking about your long to-do list, clear your mind with prayer and read your Bible first. Try doing this for a month and see how it goes, and at the end of the allotted time I too will get back with you to let you know how it went as I begin to put God first.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Results of 30 Days of 30 Minutes of Prayer

After the 30 days of prayer, I was really excited to see just how many prayers God had answered within the month. Some of them were really impossible situations that I was placed in that God got me out of. The results were uplifting and allowed me to better trust in God for whatever is going on in my life.

The best thing about one of the answers to prayer was that I had been praying for something since last October with no results; of course, I'd been praying about it a few minutes a day, what'd I expect? So by mid-March I received an answer to that situation- a good answer. This really showed me the importance of the quantity of time. Quality of time in prayer is good, but if I'm praying for two minutes a day about something very important, how is that quality time? Does it really mean that much to me if I barely spend any time praying about it? We would never tell dads that 5 minutes with their children after work is quality time, even if they had a good 5 minute conversation. We would never pat a dad on the back for that. We'd be appalled if he chose to spend a few minutes of his time with his kids on a daily basis.  Quantity is just as important as quality; in fact, they both go hand in hand. You cannot have quality time with God if you are only spending a few minutes of your day with Him.

Because of praying for an extended amount of time longer than I was normally used to, praying for extended periods of time is easier for me to do on my own. It isn't as hard as it was at the beginning. I began to form a good habit! Now granted, it didn't make me able to effortlessly spend 30 minutes a day after that, but it wasn't as hard to pray for a long time as it used to be.

So what were the results like for you? Post in the comments below!