Does Faithfulness to God Rule Out Career Ambition?

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Does Faithfulness to God Rule Out Career Ambition?

Christians are no different than others in this world when it comes to aspiring to do well. But what are the things we ought to be aspiring to? Can Christians effectively balance professional aspirations with their spiritual growth and sanctification? Paul, as a Pharisee, was a very accomplished man. He gives us a glimpse at his resume and some of his accomplishments in Philippians 3:4-6. But in verse 7, Paul, as a believer in Christ, shares a very different goal he now aspires to. We are not the Apostle Paul and have not been called to the same work he was. But as believers, our loves, desires, goals, and ambitions should mirror what he shares here in Philippians 3 and elsewhere. As we think about this, is it even possible for a believer to have high professional aspirations and remain faithful as a believer at the same time? Join us this week on the Straight Truth Podcast as Dr. Josh Philpot and Dr. Ricard Caldwell talk about these things and seek to guide us to think biblically and to act upon and live out the truths found in God’s Word.

Dr. Caldwell first reminds us that the Bible warns about the deceptiveness of riches and the ruinous power of wealth. You cannot serve God and mammon, God, and material things. You cannot serve two masters. One or the other will be your master. What this tells us is that Christ comes first. He must be preeminent in all things. Therefore, anything that would harm or ruin me spiritually must be sacrificed in favor of what advances my walk with God and enables me to serve Him well on this side of eternity. But having said this, Dr. Caldwell says that the Bible also calls us to diligence and hard work. Men, specifically, are called to be providers for their families.

So then, taking these two truths and putting them together, it is inevitable that, at times, tension will be felt here. But when that tension is there, we want to make sure Christ is preeminent, that He is first, and remember that we're to serve Him with all our heart. So, where decisions have to be made, we must always make them in favor of Christ. Dr. Caldwell shares examples where this comes into play with such things as not attending church because of our job, never being at home with our family because of the demands of our work, not fulfilling duties and responsibilities at home because of the time-consuming requirements of our job, or just because we are tired from all our work, not being models and examples for our children of a mother or father who loves Christ genuinely and lives for Him with all their hearts and more. As we seek to navigate these tensions and make decisions, they require spiritual discernment. We want to be both diligent and intentional about this.

What about those already there, having arrived at the pinnacle of their aspirations, just seeing themselves as blessed? They would say they’re doing well professionally and financially. They have a great home and pleasant family, their children are in a good school, and they faithfully attend and are a part of their church body life. Are they okay; are they in the clear, or is there danger even here that they should be aware of? The danger, says Dr. Caldwell, is when you think in those terms but don’t look at or consider all the other biblical categories and warnings. Even if someone is doing well in all these things and being faithful in these other biblical categories, we still need to remain vigilant and watchful. Idols can creep into our lives, fighting for our affections and commitments, bringing about misordered priorities. We need to be aware that material blessings threaten us with spiritual complacency. Dr. Caldwell reminds us of the Laodicean church in the book of Revelation. They were rich and felt they were wealthy, not seeing themselves as needing anything. But the Lord describes them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; they're actually in great danger. So, we want to take note of this and be sure to check our spiritual temperature and spiritual zeal regularly.

How we go about our work and living our lives will affect our witness to unbelievers around us. We don’t want to compromise by giving our lives to our work rather than to that which really matters. When we say Christ has first place in our lives yet, our lives don't reflect this by the minimal relationship we have with our local church or when we say that the soul is more important than material things, but we have no Christian friendships or relationships, then, we need to examine ourselves, and we need to go on examining ourselves routinely. No matter how busy we are, how difficult it is to get things done, and how little time it seems we have, we need to be disciplined in the Christian life. No matter how demanding and intense our careers, jobs, or professional work might be, we need to maintain regular spiritual practices and disciplines. We need to recognize that there is something good and right in the Christian life about doing something because God has set it forth as important. This allows us to be spiritually disciplined and not feel guilty about it. It means we begin with our spiritual priorities, organizing and prioritizing, just as with other things in our lives. Examples Dr. Caldwell gives are prayer, spending time in God’s Word, and maximizing time with our family. But we also don’t want to be legalistic in this, loading ourselves down or holding ourselves accountable to a standard that God hasn’t called us to. As our work day ends, we want to remember that how we end our day is as important as how we began it and all the events that made it up.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 27 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas



Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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