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Living without Career Regrets

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.
—Colossians 3:23

Somebody has said that an unfulfilling vocation drains the color from a person’s entire existence. That probably explains why we have so many colorless faces walking around today. Just think about this: you spend 60 percent of your waking hours at your job. So if you are dissatisfied with your work, that affects every other part of your life. This week we are going to look at how to avoid regrets in your career.

One reason people are dissatisfied with their vocations is a wrong choice of a career. Many American workers wish they had chosen another profession. What causes people to choose the wrong profession? I think some people have allowed other people to choose their careers for them. It may be a parent, a friend, or a well-meaning guidance counselor. And if you are a people pleaser, it is very possible you allowed somebody else to choose your career for you.

Parents, we do have a responsibility to guide our children in a choice of vocation. We are to “train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NASB). This verse means to train up your child according to his individual interests and bents, because when he is old, he will still be inclined that way. But there is a difference between helping our children discover their gifts and pressuring them into a particular vocation. I will always be grateful to my parents for confirming rather than dictating my choice of a career. When I was growing up, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life—or so I thought. I was going to be a television producer. But one summer I went to a church youth camp, and there God spoke to my heart and called me to be a pastor. I remember going back home to tell my parents, and I wasn’t sure how they would respond. I hesitantly told them what God was leading me to do, and they said, “We always knew that was what God was going to do with your life. But we never said a word to you about it, because we wanted to be sure it was God calling you and not us calling you.” So they confirmed but didn’t dictate my choice of a career. It is very important that we choose a career based on what we feel led to do, not on what somebody else wants us to do.

By the way, if you are experiencing dissatisfaction with your career, ask, “What is the major factor that caused me to choose my profession? Did a parent, teacher, or another authority figure pressure me in any way to choose this profession? And do I receive regular confirmation from other people that I’m good at what I do?”

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

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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