Writing you from beautiful Wake Forest, NC, as I’m on the road and have had little computer access, I want to give a few more thoughts on how a man decides his way in the world. The criteria I posed for a man’s vocational decision were as follows:
4) Kingdom of God
In my humble estimation, most men take into account the first factor. Most men consider what they are good at and what they like doing before they begin a career. Some men take number 2 into account, though men must carefully consider whether the amount of work they do is justified. Yes, you may draw more salary, but are you sacrificing time with your family? Is your wife cared for? A man must provide, but he also must no neglect.
Many Christians, I think, forget to take the third factor, society, into account. One should consider how the work one does figures into society. Does it make a positive contribution? Simply because we are citizens of the kingdom of God, the society of God’s redeemed, does not mean that we are not citizens of our country. Some Christians and Christian movements have been guilty of so emphasizing the heavenly citizenship that they forget the earthly. We are not in heaven yet, and God has given us a society to be a part of. We ought not to withdraw from it, but to contribute in positive and constructive ways to it. Christian men should thus carefully consider this third factor in choosing their vocation–how will this impact the world in which I live?
Finally, Christian men must wrestle with whether their prospective work advances the kingdom in some way. Most of us will not enter full-time vocational ministry, but all of us can advance the kingdom by speaking the gospel when possible, living righteously, and bringing justice and healing to an unjust and broken world. As men of God and agents of physical and spiritual dominion, we must weigh all these factors and then choose our career before men and, most importantly, before God.