I came across the following verse as I was reading my Bible the other day. It falls amid a passage dealing with one’s placement in life; whether an individual is married or single, slave or free.
17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. (1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV)
Before an individual comes to saving faith in Christ, all of his or her decisions center around individual contentedness, peace, pleasure, advancement, and growth as the primary focus of life. Even those whose peace and contentment come from serving others are living for the betterment of this present world.
Without Christ, this life is all that there is, and it is up to each individual to maximize his or her station in life. Depression and feelings of failure come easily in this environment,
Along with the revelation of the temporary nature of human life and the hope of eternal blessings that come with faith in Christ is a change in mentality.
The primary focus of one’s existence is no longer the betterment of one’s life on earth but the glory of God. In most cases, this transformation is not instantaneous, but over time, as God works in the life of an individual, he or she becomes more Christ-like and heavenly minded.
As the reality of each individual’s earthly existence is merely a brief moment compared with the eternity for which God created us, the conditions in which he or she lives here and now are relatively insignificant.
The focus that an individual has in life should not be to change his or her station in life but to live each day for the kingdom of God, developing the aspects in his or her life that bear eternal significance. No one can take anything into the next phase of his or her existence except for his or herself and those whom he or she has impacted.
The apostle Paul uses the examples of marriage and slavery, but it could also apply to one’s profession.
If an individual is married, don’t try to get out of the relationship.
If an individual is single, don’t make it your aim in life to find a spouse. If, however, God sees fit to bring into your life a gentleman or lady with whom you fall in love, feel free to exercise your freedom in Christ. But don’t do so at the expense of diminishing your ability to honor and glorify God.
In the day and age that Paul was writing, slavery was commonplace. Not so today. But the principle applies to an employer, employee relationship as well. If you are an employer, live each day to the glory of God and treat your employees fairly. If you’re an employee, live honorably to the glory of God in that position in which God called you, and don’t make it your aim to seek other employment simply because life is difficult.
Ask God for guidance and grace to endure your current situation. It may be that God has plans to use you where you are for a greater purpose. Any inconveniences and trials that we experience now will seem like nothing compared with the eternal glory that we will receive with Christ when our earthly life comes to an end.
God is in control of all things. The attitude that one displays, regardless of the conditions in which he or she lives, reflects upon God. God has placed each individual in the time and place of His choosing according to His purpose. It is up to us to live the life that He gives us for His honor and glory, no matter what the circumstances.
Of course, if God presents you with an opportunity for advancement or a change in your vocation that enhances your life, feel free to follow the Spirit’s guidance wherever He leads.
But self-serving societal betterment is to be the least of our concerns. God knows what we need even better than we know it ourselves. Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and let God handle the rest. And …
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.(Colossians 3:23-24 ESV)
God is in control. He knows what He is doing. Trust Him at all times and in all things, and live with eternity in view.
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.