What is a god? Webster’s dictionary in part defines a god as the “principal object of faith and worship.” So what is faith? Faith is defined as “confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing.” Thus it follows that whatever I believe in, value and trust the most, is in effect a god to me. This should then beg the question: are there things in my life in which I put more value or trust than God Himself? Young people are encouraged to go to college so that they can get good jobs, and thus provide themselves with long term financial security. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach. It’s very logical and practical. But at what point does this focus in life become our god, in which we put our primary value and trust? Our secular culture teaches us that peace of mind comes from our ability to control our financial security – health insurance, retirement benefits, etc. Our jobs are typically our means for pursuing this security. But the Gospel teaches us that peace of mind comes from trusting that God knows what we need, and He’ll take care of those things for us as long as we are focused first on seeking God’s kingdom, which involves loving and serving God and one another. (Luke 12:29-31) Which of these teachings do you find easier to follow? The following is a short test to help you reflect on where you put your trust.
Would you uproot and relocate your family at God’s request, just as Abraham did? Would you uproot and relocate your family to secure a better, higher paying job? Would you be willing to travel a lot in order to spread the Gospel, just as Jesus and His disciples did? Would you be willing to travel a lot for the sake of a well-paying, secure job? Would you sacrifice your life in the name of God, just as so many martyrs have done? Do you sacrifice your health because of the stress associated with maintaining your job security?
These comparisons may seem a bit extreme, but they should prompt us to think about where we find our truth, value and trust. Why might we be willing to do some things in the name of job security, but would have to think really hard about doing them in the name of God? So, the next time you are faced with a tough moral decision at work, will you allow God to work through you, trusting in His care? Or will you allow your fears related to job security dictate your actions? by Tim Ryan