I've been wrestling with a career decision. What thinking processes should Christians use in decision making?

Unfortunately, in today’s Christian environment the whole idea of thinking has become suspect. It’s as if using our natural abilities of intellect—particularly in areas of career— somehow represents a lack of faith. The concept is that we’re supposed to entrust our career and our vocation to God, and God will do the thinking for us; God will show us through some kind of miraculous sign what he wants us to do.

I think the most significant thing we’re called to do when we’re seeking the will of God in our lives, whether it’s for our vocation or for our choice of a mate or where we’re to live, is to think. Now, how are we to think? In what way are we to think? The Bible tells us that we ought to make a sober analysis of our gifts and talents. We recognize in doing so that it is God who gives us the gifts. It is God who gives us the talent, and it is God whom we are trying to serve and whom we want to please. That’s why we want to discern what his will is for our vocation. How do we make a sober analysis of our gifts and talents? We have to think, and we have to think deeply and accurately. We can get some help in this process. We are encouraged by Scripture to seek the counsel of others because usually our gifts are recognized by the body of Christ. People in our church, in our family, and in our circle of friends have a tendency to call attention to the gifts we display. I also believe strongly in making use of those people who are highly skilled in helping us discern what our gifts and talents are. There are a lot of Christian vocational-counseling organizations available.

Sometimes we get forced into patterns of jobs or careers where we have the skills, we have the talents, but we really don’t have the desire or the motivation to apply ourselves 100 percent. I grant that it’s possible God could call us to a task we hate to perform, but God is a much better manager than that. For his jobs in this world, I think God likes to hire the people who not only have the gifts he gave them and the talent he gave them but who are motivated in those directions. Somehow, I think one of the great lies of Satan is to tell us that we are supposed to be unhappy with our labor. God has called you to be fulfilled in your labor, so it’s perfectly legitimate to ask yourself, What can I do that fulfills me?

© 1996 by R.C. Sproul. Used by permission of Tyndale.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.