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Stories & Blog

You Can Be Proud of Your Profession

You Can Be Proud of Your Profession

I recently read an article in which the author wrote that she takes “great comfort and a little pride” in knowing that her three adult children are all established in church-related jobs.

Certainly, it is fair and right that she is proud of them.

But the article irritated me. Or was it disappointment I felt? At the least, it showed that many Christians still perceive certain occupations to be higher on a spiritual pyramid than others. The article implied that I should be prouder if my child works full-time in the church or is a missionary.

Such a notion is unbiblical — a result of our Greek heritage rather than our biblical heritage. You see, the Greeks were dualistic. They saw the world with good and bad occupations, spiritual and secular, philosophical and physical, of the mind or of the body. One was superior and higher; the other was of lesser value.

But Scripture teaches that all of God’s creation is good. No occupations are of more value than others. Faith and work are an integrated whole (1 Corinthians 10:31), and all work gives glory to God.

If a Jesus-follower obeys God by loving God and loving others (Matthew 22:38-39), lives a godly life by demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26), and draws others to follow God (Matthew 28:19-20), then he or she is serving God and bringing glory to him.

In his book God at Work, author Gene Veith writes, “‘The priesthood of all believers’ did not make everyone into church workers; rather, it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling.”

Christians should be proud of children in church-based professions. Likewise, we should be equally proud of children who are living and loving like Jesus in so-called “secular” professions.

So, I can be proud of my son who owns a business with a dozen employees in the branding industry and my other son who is a corporate partner in a financial services company. They are as much in ministry as my daughter who serves missionaries with member care support and my other daughter who serves as the human resources director for a non-profit organization.

My pride is not in what they do in the workplace — it is in how they do it.

A former airline CEO (who is also a committed Christian) said, “CEO is what I do. It is not who I am.”

I’m proud that my children are living out their calling as Jesus-followers and making an impact in four different sectors of society.

Author R. Paul Stevens said in his book, The Other Six Days, “We can never reach the world for Christ by sending fully supported missionaries. We must mobilize the whole people of God.”

That means sending business managers, teachers, medical professionals, engineers, and others from many more professions to live and love like Jesus among the least-reached.

Let’s be proud — yes! — but of the right things. Let’s also pray and send our professional family and friends to the ends of the earth, for the glory of God.

Larry Sharp served 21 years with Crossworld in Brazil as teacher and principal of Amazon Valley Academy and president of Missão Cristã Evangélica do Brasil. He returned to the U.S. in 1993 to become vice president at Crossworld’s home office. After 20 years as an executive, he is now Vice President Emeritus and a business consultant for Crossworld.
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