Bosses Don’t Give Gold Stars: Put Your Confidence in the Lord

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All your best research will only lead you to come up with a plan that might prove profitable, but prayer will keep you seeking the Lord about those plans.

Launching your career is an exciting time, but it can also stir up doubts. The emotionally challenging aspect of this time is that you have to cultivate faith in God so that you neither presume on your future nor fear what may come. Fortunately, Scripture directs us how to think about our future plans:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil (James 4:13–16, HCSB).

You see here that James is not busting on the person who has a plan. He is merely correcting the one who has arrogantly put all his confidence in that plan. Planning ahead is good, but it has to be done with humble understanding that everything is subject to God’s will.

So it is with how you anticipate your future. Never once have I heard someone say, “My life has turned out exactly how I expected it would.” But from my mid-life vantage point, I can confidently assure you that there will be many more blessings than you anticipate and many more trials. But through it all, God's grace will be triumphant. Of that, I am most assuredly confident.

So make your plans, but do a lot of market research as you go. Ask people in the field you are considering for an informational interview, then inquire of them what their work-life balance has been like and what advice they would give you. Find out from your business and personal contacts what they wish they had done differently as young adults. Read widely in your field, following social media and trade publications. Ask your family and friends for their counsel about your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Then pray. All your best research will only lead you to come up with a plan that might prove profitable, just as James says. But prayer will keep you seeking the Lord about those plans, and that humble dependence upon Him prevents the proud boasting that James condemns.

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