My Job Is Getting Me Down

Q. My job of ‘Religious Education teacher’, allows me to speak freely (ish) about Jesus – along with other world religions – to students that might not ordinarily hear about him. In the past I’ve thought of this as a blessing. Of late though, my job is becoming increasingly stressful with the demands and pressures applied by senior management. I have difficulty connecting at home and my spare time is taken up with extra work to meet deadlines; it feels like being on a treadmill that you can’t get off.

1 Corinthians 10:33 says we should not seek our own good, but the good of many so they can be saved. This suggests we should carry on regardless of our own feelings for the greater good. However, although I am telling people about Jesus in my lessons which I enjoy, my job interferes with my daily walk because it consumes my thoughts – both at work and at home to the point where my health and my relationship with Jesus are both suffering. What should I do?

A. I think you’re misinterpreting 1 Cor. 10:33. Paul was repeating a statement he made earlier where the context is the believer’s freedom. In 1 Cor. 10:23 Paul said, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” The idea is all our sins have been forgiven in advance so technically we could do whatever we want.

But that would be an immature, self centered approach that could have a negative effect on those around us so we don’t seek our own good but the good of others. In other words, we govern our behavior so as to avoid causing a weaker person to stumble or a seeker to turn away.

Paul was talking about living a Christian life that leaves a positive impression on others. I don’t think he was telling us to sacrifice our own health and happiness, not to mention our walk with the Lord.

I suggest you take this matter to prayer and ask the Lord what He desires from you.

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