Glorifying God in All Fields of Work

Before I discuss this question, I must admit at a church I attended in the summer of 2015 had an incredible (and indelible) sermon series.  It was right on target for my career situation, both then and now.

Overall, it discussed the truth of work and keeping away from having too ambitious of an attitude toward it.  In other words, if someone wishes to “change the world,” a hope for such a breakthrough is totally in God’s hands.  Thus, the likelihood of such a change tends to be slim.  So, we must think in terms of “baby steps,” no matter what our careers entail.

The bottom line is whatever you do, you should do it to God’s glory, and with the spirit of Christian love.  This applies to all careers, from truck drivers to doctors.  (This does not mean you should deal strictly with Christians, because, likewise, their salvation is personal.)

Fast forward 2 years for the meat and potatoes.  While I am (and have been) a Biology major hopeful, I recently thought there was no jobs that fit the bill.  Well, things have changed, and things are looking brighter.

That radical change of heart concerned the various positions of cell and molecular biology, the dominant field today.  Previously, I was cynical toward that, since I thought such research was an excuse to prolong life as well as to eradicate certain diseases, and hence make the world more “worldly.”  (Of course, on earth, just because we cure everything that exists doesn’t make death any less inevitable.)

But the good side of such scientific progress is that 1) extension of the average life expectancy gives time more for better Gospel reception 2) it won’t make anything more “sacred” to target the “worldliness” mentioned above; of course, this earth is worldly by definition, and people may or may not receive the Gospel (this depends on God’s will) 3)  Over the past few centuries we have made great strides, so why stop them now?  Such serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are apparently far more formidable than such ailments like polio, measles, etc., which can be addressed by certain vaccines and similar barriers.  Not to mention, all this is done for the good of people like me and you, as Phil 2:3, 4 advocates, whether as a true biologist, a biology technician, or similar occupation.

So, should I pursue such a career?  Well, in any case, the Bible is the central source of wisdom for Christians, and that is my guide.  Prayer is welcome as well, from wherever your neck of the woods may be.

No matter what your job is, as long as it is done to God’s glory, renders work as worship.  AMEN

The Worth of One’s Knowledge Base

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.  (Prov 1:7, ESV)

Unbelievers, while being just as able as believers to obtain knowledge, do not thoroughly understand what something means in the long run.  Based on this, Christians have a higher purpose for this, as cited in Phil 2:4 (ESV):

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Fundamentally, we can all use our knowledge bases for the common good, and to advance the kingdom of God.  Whatever your area of expertise is, there is somewhere you can fulfill the needs and demands of whom you serve.

On a personal level, knowledge compounds and inter-plays with previously learned knowledge prior to the newer information.  Whether its a mere pronunciation difference or a topic that builds on something you learned 20 years ago (making for a great review LOL), knowledge is always useful to some extent.

But first of all, let’s discuss what this thing called “wisdom.”  Basically, it is living within God’s parameters of earthly existence to survive and thrive.  This is not the same as actual “earthly” wisdom.  James describes the difference like this:

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)

“Heavenly” wisdom comes only through the Holy Spirit, through prayer, Scripture reading, preaching, and other means of grace.  Thus Christians have a fuller awareness of doing what is best as their clock on earth ticks.

And as in all things, moderation.  Ecclesiastes (a Biblical wisdom book, which, like Proverbs, is attributed to Solomon) illustrates when you should draw the line on certain things, such as pleasure, work, and learning.  Yes, we share this terrestrial ball.  But not forever.  So while you should enjoy things on this earth, don’t get too absorbed in them.  For example, Eccl. 12:12 puts secular study like this:

Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Learning is good, and is something we do whether we like it or not.  But if you study with selfish ambition, that is basically folly.  Yet when done in moderation (as with all your tasks), understanding our natural world (or any other area(s) of knowledge) can bear great benefit.  By the way, since Solomon’s time, “books” have met their rival distant cousin: the Internet.  Gutenberg sure helped, though.

Wow, now we have made a bridge between a number of areas of thought!  Would you like to buy it?  (It’s far cheaper than Brooklyn’s for sure!)

A Chief Weakness of Mine

With all my strengths, given the fact that no one is perfect, I must present at least one weakness.

This deals with the fact that I tend to make decisions without seeing the whole picture.  I typically impulsively decide things based on a few facets with other factors neglected.  I really shouldn’t be this hasty, and should consider all details of a decision and take my time.  Sometimes this insufficient analysis leads to obstinacy.

This includes decisions like choosing a college, those textbooks I read for pleasure, buying other products, and much more.  At my “Cedar City” business, I have sold three textbooks, have two to go, but have taken the remaining two off the market so I can, yes, read them!  When I buy textbooks (namely, for fun) while I learn a lot, I worry that I’m not getting the correct or important information.  Well, big deal.  While college professors can give you a deeper understanding, a 1978 book, aiming to provide suggestions for those adults that want the knowledge of college, said that learning is “internal,” and the lectures, homework, etc., are just supplemental.  The textbooks on the market discuss the same basic things, but professors differ just as all people do.  Colleges have multiple professors, yet you’ll probably only get one.  And since there are sundry colleges coast to coast, it’s all a luck of the draw.  Some professors aren’t that good anyway.  Therefore, I earnestly count my blessings here, particularly in comprehending information that many people don’t, which I thank the Lord for.  I also enjoy, and am quite talented in, summarizing technical/scientific information into plain English, and am indeed quite good at it.

OK, enough with the academics.  Dietary choices when shopping are often impulsive, as well as the “need” (really a desire) to eat out rather frequently.  When eating, I tend to binge, which depletes food rather quickly.  This often does warrant take-out, but if I observed portion rules better, maybe food wouldn’t be depleted so quickly.  And often, I may blunder on budgeting sometimes.

This, by the way, is a great topic for prayer.  A daily diet of Scripture is also crucial.  Pray that the wisdom of God will guide me in all endeavors, of all kinds.

Decisions, decisions, decisions, what are we gonna do?

Pitfalls of Learning (and How to Avoid Them)

As we all know, everything should be done in moderation.  The same goes for learning.  We need wisdom from God to learn what we need (and to some degree, want) and eventually, draw the line, topic by topic.

  1. Learning is not memorization.

You can learn key principles without holding too tightly to neighboring details.  In fact, that was a very good piece of advice from a high school teacher.

From what I have heard (as well as in some experience), professors can trim or summarize content of courses from the designated textbook to deliver the intended content of that course.  Moreover, sometimes the textbooks themselves are truncated to make a “custom” edition.  From much of my collegiate experience up to now, it often made sense why certain facts were less important than others.

Even when the core facts are extracted, they are still liable to fade.  In the final analysis, you are getting a degree (read: piece of paper) that qualifies you for so much more than what you did in the four-odd years you spent in school.

2.  Don’t dwell on, constantly review, or routinely “test” recently learned facts.

This kind of mentality makes learning look compulsive, just like smoking, drinking, gambling, etc., can be.  When you’ve grasped the key ideas on a subject, you’re pretty much ready to move on.

In fact, this can easily be observed in the lives of many adults long after their college days are over.  Once they graduate college or other post-secondary program (or even grad school!), most of your knowledge will be pruned in the direction of what you do as a career.  If you were a biology major and deal chiefly with plants, your acquired zoology and its more specialized branches you may have taken is likely to fade (save perhaps entomology, since insects are key figures in the plant world, even though they are animals).  Or an engineer may focus far more on statics than thermodynamics, so statics would take the crown.


3.  Understand why you’re learning a subject.

A book I read about computers many years ago puts it very cogently:  it’s more important to know what you use an electronic device for than how it works.  After all, owner’s manuals don’t disclose the latter, though a more technical manual for professionals may!

So, would you rather watch the Super Bowl for the game, or to judge the quality of the TV’s vertical hold?  (See what I mean?)  Leave the latter to the pros (you know what I mean, not the players you’re watching).

4. Know when to draw the line.

The breadth and depth of subjects can range greatly for a certain topic.  When it’s too easy, it’s boring.  The same is often true for many advanced forms of the same topic!  Too much detail can obscure the “big picture.”  Perhaps that’s why the “lecture filtering” mentioned above by professors is so important in cases as such.  After all, they’re getting paid and are not there for nothing.


The Bible warns about excessive study in verses like Eccl 12:12 and about worldly wisdom in the book of 1 Corinthians.  While learning is good, it should not become an idol.

Facts are like calories, they must be “burnt” to get the full effect of them.  Otherwise, they’re empty.  But at the same time, an “empty fact,” unlike an empty calorie, just gracefully drifts away, reversing the situation!

So, consider what you really need, what you enjoy, whether it’s at school or just when your reading about things.