What should I do if my career has become an idol?
Personally, as a pastor, I regularly “resign” the church in my prayer time. There are obviously sinful things of the world that can become idols in the heart, but there are also good things that can become idols. In believing prayer, as we worship God, as we confess our sins to God, as we are bringing our needs to God, there is a constant offering of ourselves and the temptations of our hearts to God. Those temptations of our hearts are not just sinful things, but good things.
In Philippians 3, Paul gives a list of his pre-Christian life. These are things he had to count as loss so that he could gain Christ, and not all of these are negative things. These are things that he would’ve cherished. In his own language, he says these are things that “were gain to me” (Phil. 3:7).
There is this constant process in our spiritual lives where we need to walk ourselves through our résumé—whatever it is that tempts us to put confidence in the flesh (to use the language of Philippians 3)—and we need to submit those things to the lordship of Jesus Christ. I think that’s an ongoing process, whether it is work, or ministry, or family—whatever it is.
We must make sure that we’re seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness above everything else (Matt. 6:33).
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with H.B. Charles Jr. and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.