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Should I Change Jobs?


I graduated from high school last year, and now I have a job working the graveyard shift (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) at a gas station. During this shift I’ve been robbed and shot at, and had other terrible experiences.I’m on fire for Jesus, so I’m wondering why all this stuff is happening to me just as I’m entering the “real world.” Do I deserve this treatment? I actually like my job, but do you think God’s trying to get me to change to some other job?

Steve Answers:

I’m not surprised that you’re asking these kinds of questions based on what you’ve been experiencing. Being on fire for Jesus can lead to some kinds of persecution, whether it’s being teased or put down, getting physically beat up, or even being shot, like Cassie Bernall at Columbine High School.Paul warned Timothy, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).And when Jesus sent out His 12 disciples, He told them, “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. . . . All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:16-22).

Actually, those two passages are more about being persecuted for spreading the good news of Jesus. And from your question it sounds as if you’re being abused primarily because of the nature of your job—working the graveyard shift at a gas station.Although you’re “on fire” for Jesus, it doesn’t sound as though you’re running into trouble because your witness is offensive to others. And let me agree that no, you don’t deserve to be treated that way!I’m curious to know why you like your new job. Is it the paycheck? Is it the excitement? Is it the people you meet and get to share Jesus with?Are there other workplaces you could have the same joys without the dangers?If I were your father, I’d be strongly urging you (based on what sounds like a fairly unsafe work environment) either to work a different shift or to get a different job.If you’re going to be killed, at least make it something worth dying for! And a job at a gas station—no matter how wonderful—doesn’t seem worth it. Of course, if it has to do with living for Jesus and not merely a job, then that’s a different issue. But that isn’t what I picked up from your question.

I certainly believe that for Christians, our lives are already in God’s hands. With that kind of security we don’t need to cower. Like David we can say, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).Yet I don’t see any reason to carelessly or knowingly put ourselves in harm’s way. Are there other workplaces you can be “on fire” for Jesus? I suggest you ask God to open some more doors for you vocationally and see what He works out.

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