Anyone who investigates the extent and effects of pornography in our country is tempted to conclude: ‘The problem’s too big to be beaten.’ Or perhaps: ‘What could I possibly do to make a difference in something so overblown?’ Folks, don’t succumb to these temptations. You can make a difference! In fact, if you love Jesus Christ; if you love your children; if you love your neighbor; then being passive and accepting defeat just isn’t an option.
God is holy. All forms of evil’pornography included’contradict God’s character. Therefore, God doesn’t’and can’t’compromise with it, or be reconciled to it. Make no mistake: God hates all forms of wickedness. So if you belong to Him, you must ask yourself: ‘Can I dare be indifferent to what my Lord hates and opposes?’ Clearly, you cannot.
In a Christianity Today editorial, I read four ways you can stem the rising tide of pornograpy:
1) Teach sex education at home and in church-sponsored programs.
2) Speak out against pornography, whether to PTA groups or to family stores selling pornographic materials.
3) Support those who are waging a battle against porn through petitions, letters, and boycotts.
4) Support and encourage any forums that will help people distinguish between opposition to pornography and the limitations to free speech.
And in all these things, pray. Pray that God will strengthen your hands and your heart for His service, and that, through His power, your efforts will bear fruit.
Yesterday I talked about American men feeling disappointment and burnout at mid-career. Today I’ll raise several key issues you should consider carefully and prayerfully if you’re among the growing number thinking about making a career change.
1) There are elements of repetition in every career, and few repetitive actions remain continually thrilling. Are you in the right place, but just needing a minor change of pace, or is your lack of enjoyment indicative of something more fundamental?
2) Are you wrestling with getting less recognition than you think proper? Is this a legitimate grievance, or your reticence to live contentedly before an audience of One?
3) Is your career disappointment a reminder that perseverance is needed, or an indication that your work is not the type worth pursuing for a lifetime?
4) Where does income figure in to your dissatisfaction? How does money fit into your value system, and affect your feeling of self-worth?
5) Are you giving your time and energy to something you can be proud of?
6) Is your career providing the opportunity to make a contribution to something you deem important?
Men, these are important questions. So please don’t make impulsive moves without answering them prayerfully, honestly, and with the help of trusted and spiritually mature input from others. Many of you may find God’s calling you to grow right where you are. Others just may be called to take heart and follow God to other things.
If you’re a man feeling disappointed with you career accomplishments, you should prayerfully and carefully consider the reasons. God’s image isn’t best reflected in a man tarnished by frustration and discontentment. Some reasons for disappointment could be carnal, like the desire to be rich’to boost one’s ego or status. If that’s the case, a Christ-centered value system will relieve some of your disappointment.
Yet other disappointments could be both legitimate and addressable. Many men enter careers for the wrong reasons. Their parents may have adversely influenced them. They may have begun a career because they didn’t know what else to pursue. They may have lacked financial opportunity to get the training necessary for the career they really desired. Or they may simply have had a ‘eureka!’ experience at mid-life and discovered a calling previously unknown to them. In such cases, a career change, if possible, could be a completely legitimate pursuit.
Some disappointments can be resolved by adjusting expectations that were unreasonable or illegitimate all along. However, lowering the bar on a legitimate expectation isn’t a path to fulfillment. Far better to put steps in motion to achieve what’ll bring fulfillment than work another two or three decades in disappointment.
The challenge is making changes at mid-life. If you’re able to switch careers or make adjustments, great. If you’re constrained by obligations you can’t move, the process will be longer. It’ll require patience and creativity. But escaping disappointment and fulfilling your calling will make it worthwhile.