From the mailbag: What should I do with my life if I don’t want to use the degree I’m studying for? How should I approach developing in the faith?

Haven’t been able to get the time to post much with some family issues and work. Will try to get back into things as I am able.

A reader asks:

I’ve read your post on your advice to a young man on how he should do in developing Godly masculinity, but I don’t know how to adapt it to my personal situation. I am currently studying for my master’s degree, but I found that I do not want to work in that particular industry, though the content studied in my degree is interesting.

I wouldn’t look at it like this. It’s more of a lie of secular culture and American values – you can do anything you want to do and you should only do things you love. It’s a very romanticized and ungodly view of the world.

There’s nothing in Scripture that says you have to like something to do it as a career or trade. In fact, Paul worked as a tentmaker to support his full time ministry even though it was clear that he really wanted to be doing full time ministry all the time.

Having a job that pays the bills so to speak is never a bad thing. In fact, it may be the thing that is most useful because it can enable to you to have good money to do what you were called to do on the side. Someone who wants to be an artist or sculptor is great, but I’m sure that not many of these people would be able to make money doing what they love.

And what I discovered is that, I want to set some personal goals, but it’s very hard for me. I just know what I ‘don’t want to do’ instead of what I ‘want to do’. I have some very short-term ones, like devoting my time in Bible study, to at least go through the whole Bible once (I didn’t do so in the past 10 years since baptism). But how about other long-term ones? I have no idea.

Start with the basics from the RPChristians that go a long way toward loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (e.g. physical, mental/emotional, spiritual):

PHYSICAL: How are you doing with lifting? Losing weight? Where’s your body fat %? What have you been eating lately? How about your porn/alcohol/drug/cigarette/whatever use? Are you employing kino on your wife properly? Are you going too far with your girlfriend? How’s your fashion sense? Are you still lounging around the house in gym shorts and using your ratty flip flops when you go out? How are you spending your time? How’s your income doing? Your body is God’s temple: are you reflecting that appropriately? For married men: how’s your sex life?

MENTAL/EMOTIONAL: How have you been doing reading and learning new things? How’s your frame? Do you still struggle with living up to someone else’s expectations? Have you mastered the ability to respond appropriately as a leader without getting butthurt or arguing? How are you leading your wife/girlfriend this week? Do you feel pressure from any sources to do something or to act/not act a certain way? Are you depressed or lonely? Are you secure in your heart/mind that God’s will is good, even if it’s not what you want?

SPIRITUAL: How are you doing on the 7 basics? Rank yourself: Assurance of Salvation, Quiet Time/Devotional, Bible Study, Scripture Memory, Prayer, Evangelism, Fellowship. Have you solidified your mission – and does it have eternal consequences or does it only affect this world? Does your mission extend beyond the home? Do you have someone discipling you? Are you discipling anyone else? Have you talked with your non-Christian friends about Christ recently? Are there parts of the Bible you’re just not understanding? How are things going with your church or small group?

Focusing on developing the basics and your mission for Christ is what we’re here on earth to do, so it’s important to be focusing time and effort into these to be effective for Christ.

I know I have strong talent in music, so in my church, I mainly serve as a violin, and sometimes as a singer. So I know this is the direction that I will continue to pursue to serve the Lord. Should I pursue a career in music instead?

Great things, but unless you’re a full or part-time worship leader you would still need a job. Or unless you’re really good enough to get into an orchestra or something like that it’s not going to be something that pays the bills. These are areas in which you can serve God, but you need to be practical in the sense that they’re usually not jobs or occupations or vocations.

There’s a concept called FIRE (financial independence, retire early) which Aaron Renn just covered in the Masculinist newsletter.

Basically, work a good job (that you might not be interested in all that much) and save up as much as you can and be smart investing the money to have it grow. Once you hit a certain point, you’re fairly financially independent in which case you don’t necessarily need your job or you can pursue what you love more full time.

That’s what I’m aiming toward with my family so I can eventually be involved in full time ministry off my own pockets, so like Paul I won’t be tempted by any monetary gain and can focus on the Truth and loving others without it getting in the way.

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3 Responses to From the mailbag: What should I do with my life if I don’t want to use the degree I’m studying for? How should I approach developing in the faith?

  1. Paul says:

    As for an alternative to financial indepence (not a realistic goal for many people): it is becoming more and more accepted to have parttime jobs. Then don’t go for the high-income jobs, but do parttime work and have regular time left to work on your passion. I think that’s basically what the apostle Paul did; he worked “on the side” to get income, not to get financially independent as quickly as possible.

  2. @ Paul

    True, there’s lots of ways to do things. Don’t necessarily have to go for FIRE. Part time jobs are a great way to supplement enjoyable activities or ministry.

  3. Pingback: Day Bidet #36 – Brave Ole World

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