Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Often people say that they have a job, friend, or other "station" in life for a "reason" (including health, wealth, etc.). They feel that it is their obligation to stick it out in a job or personal situation that may be detrimental in some way especially when it is emotionally or mentally draining, but also even when it is a flat out health risk.

The exact phrase, in regard to people, I have heard from two people that have never met each other but are both Christians is "when I meet someone I feel like they are supposed to be in my life [forever]".

Other mantras exist for work situations also, but none come to mind at this moment.

I recently asked a Christian leader about what his take was on the subject and I got back that we should stick with these things unless they cause us to stumble in our Christian way of life.

Does a Biblical basis for this thinking exist or is this a cultural hand-me-down? I would like to know if their is a difference in how we are supposed to handle different situations; job, people, other....

Side note

It seems to follow a general thought of sticking it out in tough situations God will eventually reward you for your hard work and diligence in putting up with (mostly) other peoples [caused] problems. This seems wrong because the entire Bible is about God's grace we don't earn or deserve what we get from God, so how would sticking it out in any situation that is the least bit bad be a good thing? Why not move on and take steps to better ourselves by getting away from situations that are the least bit detrimental, an extreme example in my mind would be that of not seeking treatment for a health problem.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I take "station" to mean more of one's social status. As far as that goes, I give you:

1 Corinthians 7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

So, there's no obligation to stay in your station if you can be made free from it.

Similarly, I would say there's no obligation to stay with any person--aside from a spouse and even that is given some room in the Bible (Proverbs 21:9). But as regards friends and acquaintances, we have no obligation. In fact, I can only think of verses that say otherwise:

Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

I think so many people's lives are ruled by what your friend said. Their mantra is "I feel like..." instead of an actual Bible principle.

share|improve this answer
1  
This seems like a very good answer, however I am going to wait before marking it to give others a chance. –  mrhobbeys Feb 27 at 13:28
add comment

Solomon wrote about this in Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 9:5 through 11

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

As I read this it saying that one should live life the best he knows how, because once you die you have no more opportunities to change anything.

Paul also gave us some insight into this in his letter to the Phillipians:

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.

The words of Jesus seem to cover the situation better than any:

Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

You may see a different message, but from my understanding of these and many other Scriptures, is that the real purpose in life is to assure your eternity and all else is futile, but that does not in any way say that you should not seek to better yourself when possible. But as in the case of the rich man Jesus wanted him to share his good fortune with others, the part about selling everything and giving to the poor was to find where his true treasure was.

Let me leave you with this thought; Jesus could have had all the riches or the World and all of the perversity that goes with it:

Mat 4:8 through 10

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

share|improve this answer
    
Ecclesiastes I honestly found this a bit confusing. Philippians 4:11 From my studies I would say this seems out of context, but I will admit I need to look back again. Luke 20:25 was about paying taxes and such to the state, so I could say yes we are supposed to obey the laws of the land we live in as found in several places like Romans 13:1 and others, but what I don't see is that we must remain in a country. This makes a whole lot of sense to me and seems to fit what I was getting at. We may need to obey and follow the "rules" when we are in bad job (situation) but we don't have to stay. –  mrhobbeys Feb 27 at 17:51
1  
@mrhobbeys The excerpt from Ecclesiastes pointed to the same point that Paul was making in Philippians is that we need to be able to make the best of our situation whatever it is, and be thankful for what God has given us. That of course does not mean we should never try to do better and try to improve our situation. Remember this Scripture:Matthew 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. God will provide our needs, and what we must learn is that He has a specific purpose for each of us where we are we need to find it. –  Bye Feb 27 at 18:21
    
Very interesting with Matthew 6:8 thanks for the reference. –  mrhobbeys Feb 27 at 18:49
add comment

About my life situation (or anyone's), I may have to stay at this job not so much for the job but to share my faith with everybody at work. Why then did God called me when I had this job. But if I get a better job, whatever. The Bible says 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

About cultural status, we need to fear God in any situation. Remember Joseph, he was an Israelite then became an Egyptian but was faithful to God. Just like the Israelite midwives fear God more than the Pharaoh (Exodus 1:19).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.