I got an invite to come speak at a Women’s conference, it will be the 2nd speaking engagement in the space of weeks,I mean ever since I began to make a conscious effort to start on my second life mission- SAY IT. So excited I am finally getting into the Speaking zone yayyy!! *dancing*.
The topic is understanding the relationship between career and God: with emphasis on the “Womenfolk”. Oops! Time to get to work,womanhood,femininity and everything related to the female gender makes my adrenaline rush with excitement. The seminar is not a coincidence neither is the topic,this is God at work. As I prepared and made research, here are some of my thoughts as regards the topic.
Research showed that in the 1970s more women began to work or reentered the workforce than at any other time during this century,Today all over the globe,millions and millions of women are emerging as career women in the fore front of globalization and industrialization,a great number of Christian women are among this statistics. The myth of the ideal woman whether christian or otherwise as full time house wife or mother lies shattered in the face of global revolution.
Today,a great number of women around the world are in pursuit,discoverying and rediscoverying their career path. Because the conference was centred around the christian women in particular,how does the woman understand that her work/career/calling and her relationship with God matters a lot.
WHY DO WE PURSUE CAREER/WORK/CALLING.
The Bible recalls in the book of the beginnings, How God work for several days.Work by its very nature is creative.Taking an infinite number of forms,it is the direct effort to produce or accomplish something. Gen 1:1-28. God exemplies this creative aspect and then gave humanity the charge to continue to be productive in every chosen endeavour or work or career. (Further reading Gen 1-29-30).
WHAT DOES GOD WANT WITH MY CAREER/WORK/CALLING.
In the course of pursuing a career path or life long calling I have discovered that one burning desire in my heart is that God is glorified in all that I do.(I am not trying to be ambigious with that statement or trying to be religious in any case),but the underlying desire has always been how to showcase God’s awesomeness and goodness through what I do,by making sure that my work/career/calling is of great benefit to others.
Principle #1-It is very Important to understand as Christian women,in any career path we may have chosen to follow, our priority first and foremost is Intimacy with God. Our first priority is our relationship with God which takes precedence over every other thing.
Principle#2- God has created each one of us with the aptitude for particular skills and abilities with inclination towards particular interest- In as much as we seek God concerning career path- There is no place in the bible where it is specified that you should be a lawyer, accountant or a chef. Yes we desire to please God in every area of our lives,what God has already done is to input in us certain traits to guide us in our choices. Your unique traits and design is the most important factor in making career decisions or work,but sometimes it is not the case as many women find themselves in career path they dislike because of the societal challenges, be that as it may God expects you to take responsibility of making good decisions about how to use your gifts in the marketplace. Thus it is expedient for us to prayerfully ad thoughtfully decide which path to tread.
As Christian women our faith has a practical implication to our lives.Therefore our work or career becomes a form of worship when we dedicate it to God and perform our responsibilities witha an awareness of his presence. When it comes to career path and workplace there is a general view secular view which believes that life is divided into two disconnected part.
a). God is in a spiritual dimension and therefore not concerned
b).Work or career is in the other real dimension .Both have nothing to do with each other, God is up there and I stay here minding my business.
These views is a set up for disappointment,for if you leave God out of the equation,what happens when you lose your job or something unexpected happens to your career. Your work does not define you-as most people has made it to be. These views also tend to make our career become idols -It becomes the no 1 priority in life, your relationship with God,family, takes the back seat..This is not acceptable as christian women.God has called us to make him the centre of our lives.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF WOMEN WHO PURSUED CAREER/WORK/CALLING.
As Christian women in these contemporary age, we have examples of women from the bible days who understood their career and their place in God and where able to thrive within and outside the home.
- Deborah worked as a judge in Israel.Judge4-5, Anna worked at the temple.Luke2:36-38.
- Anna worked at the temple. Luke 2:36-38.
- Tabitha worked in the Community sewing clothes for the needy.Acts 9:36,39.
Did I mention Esther who was queen in another country and used her capacity as royalty to help liberate the Jewish race.Each of these women clearly excelled both within and outside their homes.Today there is an exponential rise and increase of christian women doing valiantly in careers,work etcetera. We have Ibukun Awosika a woman who recently became the chairman of a world renowned bank,Folorunsho Alakija who is the richest woman in Nigeria,and many more. So do we as christian women understand the dynamics of our career/work/calling and our relationship with God.
PRACTICAL TIPS TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY.
1.See your career/work/calling through the Kingdom dream. Whatever you do matters when you put God first,not compromising principles of God and not jeopardizing the work ethics,and use every opprtunity to minister to others.
2.Understand that it is not always about money (completely)! Matt6:33. Ask any of the successful women either in business,ministry or career,you will find out that there were few times when money was not the sole reason for doing what they did,and what they are still doing. (Don’t get me wrong,I know money is very important but should not be the primary focus.
3. Do what you do very well. As christian women we are a reflection of our Heavenly Father and we have been given the spirit of excellence to thrive in any field or career or ministry, as a result excellence cannot be compromised. Pro 31:29.
“The place where God calls you is where you deep gladness meet thw world’s deep hunger”.-Frederick Buechner.