Today, I would like to share with you 8 Biblical Principles For Career Success.
Although it might seem peculiar to think that the bible has something to say about professional success, I dare say it does.
The Bible is undoubtedly full of timeless principles that allow us to navigate our way through this life.
Even in career matters.
If you are interested in advancing professionally or getting a better job, I invite you to join me in reflecting on the bible story of Daniel, as we have been doing in other blog posts.
The professional success of prophet Daniel
The Bible tells us that Daniel was taken captive to Babylon.
There, the king employed him and other young Jews, as royal advisers, after receiving training for three years.
While Daniel was there in exile, the king of the empire had a dream that made him very anxious.
When asking his best Babylonian sages to tell him both the dream and the interpretation, they told him that it was impossible for a human being to interpret a dream without first knowing it.
That only the gods could do something like that.
The king, furious at the response, had all the wise men of the empire executed, including Daniel, who had nothing to do with the issue, but who worked as an adviser to the king.
It happened that upon learning of the king’s decree, Daniel asked for time to be able to reveal the dream and its interpretation.
And since it was part of his professional duty, the king granted it.
In order to carry out this impossible task, Daniel set himself out to prayer, together with his friends, asking God to reveal the dream to him.
God did so.
Daniel appeared before the king and told him that it was his God who revealed the dream and not him.
That he as a person was not special, but that his God was.
Then he told the king the dream and its interpretation.
Now let’s read together from the Bible the king’s reaction after this event:
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor (…).
The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him.
He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.
Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.
| Daniel 2: 46 – 49
As you can see, the ending of this part of the story is that Daniel was promoted at his job to a much higher position.
We see how this character from the bible achieved great professional success.
He was held in high esteem, given a very high leadership position, and was lavished with honors.
Now, this improvement in his professional position was the product of several principles that I would like to share with you today.
#1 The spiritual area affects the professional area
The first of the Biblical Principles For Career Success is that we can often think of professional life and spiritual life as separate areas of our life, but they are not.
Our spiritual life is transversal to all other areas.
In the case of Daniel, the bible says that he prayed three times a day.
No doubt, his daily prayers included requests for help, wisdom, and diligence to do his job well.
It also says that in the specific case of this dream task, Daniel sought God in prayer to reveal the dream to him.
Part of being successful professionally depends on our dependence on God in our work lives.
Keeping him involved in it through prayer.
#2 Deserve professional success
The second of the Biblical Principles For Career Success is that if we want to be successful professionally, we must consider whether we are really doing a good job where we are.
If we are not, maybe that’s where we should start.
To achieve professional success, we must first deserve it.
God is not going to promote you to a job position where you give a bad testimony and don’t do a job well.
Daniel always strove to be helpful and efficient to the Babylonian empire in his particular task.
Babylon could be considered an enemy nation, since they had invaded Israel and taken Daniel captive.
However, reading the prophet Jeremiah, Daniel knew that it was God’s purpose for Israel to be under the control of Babylon at that time.
Ultimately, Daniel strived to cooperate with God by serving the kingdom and doing his work in the best way.
#3 Be a good ambassador for God in your professional life
The third of the Biblical Principles For Career Success is that part of achieving job success with God’s help is having a positive influence on others.
He who is faithful in a little will be faithful in much.
God is not going to promote you in the professional area of your life to a position of greater influence so that you are a reference of injustice to others.
In his public life, Daniel never concealed his devotion to the true God.
He did not live an undercovered faith, but he always put God first in everything he did.
He lived a life of integrity, temperance, and sound judgment that others could admire.
He always made it clear publicly that his priority was to do God’s will.
Those who knew Daniel, saw him as a trustworthy person because he had high moral and professional standards.
#4 Staying humble in the face of career success
The fourth of the Biblical Principles For Career Success is that God’s eternal purpose for our lives is that we help others draw closer to him.
If we do not point others to God, but rather want the focus on ourselves, there is no reason for God to promote us to a sphere of greater influence.
God is not going to give you professional success if you don’t serve his purposes with that success.
Think about this, in the entire Babylonian empire, the greatest of its era, no otherwise man could unveil the king’s dream, only Daniel.
In the situation Daniel was in, it was easy for Daniel to make the mistake of thinking that he was special.
However, we see that he always praised God and gave credit to Him.
He did not focus the lights on himself, but pointed them at God.
#5 Be faithful to God in your professional life
The fifth of the Biblical Principles For Career Success is that If you want to achieve professional success with God, you better start by staying true to Him in that area of your life as well.
Sure, you can achieve professional success using unfair and unscrupulous methods, but God is not in that success.
If career success is going to cause you to lose eternal life, God is not going to give it to you.
Daniel had chosen to be a representative of God in that secular professional environment so that an entire empire would know the true God.
He had chosen not to give up his principles to fit the expectations of others, for example by not being defiled with the king’s food.
Later, it is said that envious people tried to set Daniel into a trap, but that he was so upright in his job as governor that they could find nothing to accuse him of.
Daniel’s priority was not to achieve professional success at any cost, his priority was to be faithful to God.
#6 God places us to work where he needs to use us
The sixth of the Biblical Principles For Career Success is that not always the place where we want to be is the place where God needs us.
Our hearts may have earthly and selfish motivations, but if we let God guide us he will take us to a sphere where we can feel useful, happy, and fulfilled.
God had allowed Daniel to be taken to Babylon because he could use a person like him there.
God was able to use Daniel in an area of greater professional influence because he was willing to align his professional goals with God’s purposes.
Of course, we are not all Daniel, and some of us have character flaws that might currently make it difficult for us to be useful in the way that Daniel was.
But if you allow God to work, and allow yourself to be molded by Him, God can put you where He needs you and give you the professional success necessary to carry out the task that He requires of you.
#7 Allow God to work in our professional lives
The seventh of the Bible Principles for Professional Success is that the wise way to achieve professional success is not to despair for it.
Things like this take time, dedication, hard work, patience.
Especially the time necessary for us to be prepared.
Sometimes we need to trust that God is in control.
Doing the best we can in the place where we are, without stopping dreaming and talking to God about our dreams.
We need to do all of this, resting on the assurance that He will give us only what is best for us when we are ready.
The bible does not say that Daniel was eager for career success when it came to him.
#8 Have professional relationships with God-fearing people
The last of the Bible Principles for Professional Success, I would like to share from this story, is to develop sincere relationships in our professional environment with God-fearing people.
Daniel’s friends were friends of his not because they expected something from him.
Nor do we know that Daniel spent his time trying to win the favor of the king or his subordinates.
I think that seeking professional success by merely using the influence of other people is not the right way.
Using others for our selfish purposes by making them believe that they are our genuine friends is a sign that we have not matured, and that we are not ready for professional success.
The story goes that Daniel’s friends were promoted professionally because Daniel was promoted.
Daniel was going to need people he could trust to carry out his new task, he knew that he could count on his sincere friends.
Sometimes God will help you to be successful professionally through people who know that he can genuinely trust you.
That is why it is good to have sincere friendships with God-fearing people in our professional circles.
Professional success with God according to biblical principles is not an end in itself.
It is a by-product of a life given to God and His purposes in faithfulness and integrity.
As we think about career success, let’s rather think about it as a way to achieve professional fulfillment by helping God fulfill his eternal purposes.
Not in mere selfish personal ambition.
I think when we manage to focus on that, we start to go the right way.
I hope these principles are a blessing for your life.
As a bonus for understanding better this topic, let me recommend to you the book: Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller.
Also, go ahead and read our blog post on Serving God at work.
What are some Biblical Principles For Career Success? What is your experience? Share in the comments.
God bless you.