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Combine Your Desire and Your Gifts

It is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve His purpose.
—Philippians 2:13

We probably cannot eliminate all regrets about our career. Every profession has a certain amount of frustrations and regrets. Nevertheless, there are practical things we can do to minimize career regrets.

One step is to determine what your life work is. Your life work is the work that is the best use of your life. Now, if you are in your twenties, you do not need to determine what you want to do with the rest of your life yet. You have your whole working life in front of you, so your key word is “survive.” In your thirties and early forties, the key word is “success.” You want to succeed in your chosen profession. And in your midforties and fifties, the key word is “significance.” People want to do something significant with the rest of their lives.

By the way, one of the greatest mistakes people make in their careers is thinking their work has to end at age sixty-five. That is how our parents and grandparents thought, back when the average life-span was sixty-seven years. But we need to stop that way of thinking. Some people are doing the most significant work of their lives in their seventies and eighties. They have many years of experience to build upon.

Your life work should utilize both your gifts and your interests. I love Philippians 2:13, where Paul says, “It is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve his purpose” (PHILLIPS). God is working in your life right now, and He is giving you both the desire and the ability to achieve His purpose. When you find your life work, it will include both your interest and your ability.

Here are two questions to help you determine what your gifts and your interests are: (1) “What needs in the world do I feel passionate about?”; and (2) “What is my single greatest gift?” Maybe it is leadership; maybe it is communication; maybe it is creativity. Whenever you combine your passion and your giftedness, you will go a long way toward discovering what your life work ought to be. If God gives you a certain passion and the ability to carry out that passion, then you have probably discovered your life work.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living without Career Regrets” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quote marked PHILLIPS is taken from The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Philips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by permission.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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