Tag Archives: job

What Kind of Work Does God Want You In?

How do we know we are doing the job God has created us to do?

Written by Gary Schneider on 09/10/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: CareerWorkVocation


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

Given the fact that we belong to God and that life is all about stewarding or managing what God has given us, the question naturally arises in the heart of a Christ-follower: “How do I choose a career that honors God and brings me true fulfillment?”

Let’s look at a few key Scripture verses to get started:

Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Isaiah 43:6-7“Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Psalm 139:13-16“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”   

These passages indicate that:

  1. God shaped you for a purpose,
  2. You are unique, and
  3. You are wonderfully complex.

About 20 years ago, a mentor of mine, Pastor Rick Warren, came up with a tool called SHAPE to talk about the five things that make you, you. SHAPE is the way God wired you for your life’s work. Understanding the SHAPE God uniquely gave you is the key to finding His will for your career.

SHAPE is: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences

Spiritual gifts

The Bible teaches that God gives every believer certain spiritual gifts to be used in ministry and in your career (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 8, Ephesians 4). However, I believe spiritual gifts are only one part of the picture. Sometimes, spiritual gifts are emphasized to the point at which believers excuse themselves from service because they claim they are not 'gifted' in that area. But the absence of a spiritual gift is never an excuse to disobey a command such as the one to share the gospel. That's a responsibility we all share. Natural abilities that you were born with also came from God. So do your experiences and inborn personality traits. Your creator planned these factors as well.

Heart

The Bible uses the term “heart” to represent the center of your motivation, desires, interests, and inclinations. Your heart determines why you say the things you do (Matthew 12:34), why you feel the way you do (Psalm 34:7), and why you act the way you do (Proverbs 4:23).

Physiologically, each of us has a unique heartbeat. Each person has a slightly different pattern. Likewise, God has given each of us a unique emotional “heartbeat” that races when we encounter activities, subjects, or circumstances that interest us.

God had a purpose in giving you your inborn interests. Your emotional heartbeat reveals a very important key to understanding his intentions for your life. Don’t ignore your natural interests. People rarely excel at tasks they don’t enjoy doing. High achievers enjoy what they do.

Abilities

These are the natural talents that you were born with. Some people have a natural ability with words. They came out of the womb talking! Others are naturally good with numbers. They think mathematically and they can’t understand why you don’t understand calculus.

Exodus 31:3 gives an example of how God gives people “skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts ….” in order to accomplish his purposes. In this case, it was artistic ability to be used in building the Tabernacle. 

Personality

It’s obvious that God has not used a cookie cutter to create people. He made introverts and extroverts. He made people who love routine and those who love variety. Some people work best when given an individual assignment while others work better with a team.

There is no “right” or “wrong” temperament. We need all kinds of personalities to balance the church and the workplace and give it flavor.

Your personality will affect how and where you use your spiritual gifts and abilities. For instance, two people may have the same gift of evangelism, but if one is introverted and the other is extroverted, that gift will be expressed in different ways.

When you minister or work in a manner that is consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness. It feels good when you do exactly what God made you to do.

Experiences

God never wastes an experience. Romans 8:28 reminds us of this: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Consider five areas of experience that will influence the kind career you are best shaped for:

  • Educational experiences: What were your favorite subjects in school?
  • Vocational experiences: What jobs have you enjoyed and achieved results while doing?
  • Spiritual experiences: What have been the meaningful or decisive times with God in your life?
  • Ministry experiences: How have you served God in the past?
  • Painful experiences: What are the problems, hurts, and trials that you’ve learned from?

God sovereignly determined your shape for his purpose, so you shouldn’t resent it or reject it. “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?” (Romans 9:20-21)

Instead of trying to reshape ourselves to be like someone else, we should celebrate the shape God has given to each of us.

Wise stewardship of your life begins by understanding your SHAPE. You will be the most effective and fulfilled in your life’s work when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart’s desire and in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences.

What God made you to be determines what God intends for you to do.


Pray this week:

God, please show me how I can use the gifts you have given me in the way that best honors you and maximises the talents you’ve provided me. Thank you for your daily blessings in my life and walking through this with me. Amen.


What is one thing you have done in life that you have talent in and have found great joy in? How could this relate to a possible career choice?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

8 Ways To Diversify Your Freelance Income

Want more stability in your financial life? Here's how freelancers can create a more reliable income through diversification.

growing an income

Perhaps whoever coined the phrase "don't put all your eggs in one basket" was a freelancer, because, well, that's one of the biggest financial mistakes freelancers make. If you make all your freelance income from one client, what's going to happen when that client loses their funding? Certainly nothing good. But, if you make your freelance income from ten clients, when one client loses funding, you'll only be out looking to replace ten percent of your income.

There's more than one way to put your income into separate "baskets"–here are eight ways that freelancers can diversify their income for a more reliable paycheck.

Work with multiple clients. If you happen to land a client large enough to pay your entire salary, it may not be the best idea to work only with that client. Keep a few other clients on the side so that if something does happen, you're not wondering how to pay for groceries. The more clients you have, the more reliable your income will be—just make sure you can manage them all. Along the same lines, freelancers should continually be marketing their services so there's a potential client to contact when a current one falls through.

Write a blog. Whatever it is that you do, you can earn a little extra side money by sharing your first-hand knowledge. One way to do that is through blogging. While creating a successful blog takes time and effort, it's a good way to add an extra income source. And if worse comes to worse and you don't make any money from your blog, you at least have a great website to show potential clients that you know your stuff.

Write an eBook. Many bloggers expand their income through eBooks. While a blog earns money through advertising, eBooks are ad-free and earn income through the sale of the book itself. Many readers prefer getting their information through eBooks because the form is much easier to use and typically offers more information than a typical blog.

Teach a class. Another way to earn extra income by sharing the knowledge you have of your field is through teaching a class. While you can go the old fashioned way and actually teach a local class, you could also teach online for an even farther reach. Using a platform like Udemy or Open Learning, creating an online class is easier than you may think. There is a big time investment involved—though if you already have material like a blog or eBook on the same topic to work with, it's much easier to get set up with an online class.

Sell a digital product. There are many more possibilities of diversifying your income without selling an eBook. If your expertise lies in graphic design, for example, you could create and sell graphics such as clipart or templates for businesses to use for marketing materials. There are a lot of possibilities here, including stock photos and templates for different software programs.

Sell physical goods. While it takes a bit more of a financial risk, you could also sell physical products, ideally related to your area of expertise. Graphic designers and photographers, for example, could sell their designs on t-shirts and other items through a company such as Cafepress. If you created an eBook, you could could sell a physical copy too.

Use affiliate links. Many online stores pay for the links that send them traffic, it's called affiliate linking. If you have a blog or social media network with a large following, you could earn a little extra by using affiliate links. Popular sites with affiliate links are Rakuten Affiliate (formerly LinkShare) and Amazon Associates, though there are many more.

Expand your services. Having a niche area is a great way to show that you are an expert, instead of the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of freelancer. But there is such a thing as being too narrow. One way to diversify your income is to start offering more than one service, ideally, something that's similar to your primary focus. For example, if you are a copywriter specializing in blog posts, it's an easy step to also start offering landing page content or e-mail marketing. The best way to expand is to offer another service that caters to the same business as the first. If your target audience for your first service is businesses, but for the second is families, it will be tough to market properly. Instead, try adding a service that your current and past clients might consider adding.

Freelancing, and the unpredictable income that comes with it, can be pretty scary. A great way to lessen the fear and create more stability is by adding other revenue sources. The first and biggest way is to work with a wider number of clients. But, by offering things like a blog, an ebook, online courses, digital or physical products, affiliate links or additional services, you can create a more reliable income that comes from a variety of sources.

What do you think? Have you ever worked for free? How did it turn out?

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive
markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member