How to Know if Your Profession matches your Confession

As I write this, I’m trying to secure rides for both of my older kids when they get done with work at their prospective places of employment.  They both work at restaurants: my oldest at Culvers and my second oldest at Starbucks.  They were both amazed when I told them that my first job paid me $3.25 an hour.  Some of you reading this post are shaking your heads because you remember the days when 2 bucks an hour was luxurious!

Most of my jobs pre-ministry work was in the food industry.  Kroger and Red Lobster were my first two jobs.  My brother and I worked at Red Lobster together.  He was a back up, which pulled and prepped fish from the freezer, while I made bakers (potatoes) and biscuits.  It was a great job except for the one Mother’s Day I grabbed a 450 degree pan of potatoes without my oven mitts.  I can still hear the searing flesh.


Times have changed, my hands healed just fine with no scars surprisingly, and I finally made it over $5 an hour mark!  I’m one of the lucky ones who has a job, and also fortunate enough to LOVE what I do.  Having a job is great, but actually loving what you do for work is an added bonus.  I’m one of the many pastors of a really great church that I’m privileged to be a part of.  I’ve had a few “church jobs” but that doesn’t mean my job, or calling for that matter, is more Godly than yours.

Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church in Tulsa Oklahoma summed up the continual problem that every vocational minister faces. “God forgive us when we become full time ministers of the gospel and part time followers of Jesus.”  Whether you’re in a high rise law firm, in real estate, selling medical equipment to hospitals, raising a family so your spouse can work, or pulling shots of espresso, God can get the glory from your vocation.

The tension is when your job is, or becomes, something that no longer fits in the category of God-honoring work.  Maybe you’ve had the job for a while and it pays the bills but you’ve had to compromise your character to get a raise.  Perhaps you cave in to the pressures at work to cover up the cross in order to go along with others.  If this is true of you, you’re normal… and wrong.  If you cover up your true identity as a Christ follower depending on the circumstances than what you’re doing seems natural… but it’s wrong.

The Professional Christian and the professing Christian sound like they are one in the same but this is not always the case.  Many Professional Christians are so in title only while many professing Christ do so regardless of their title or environment.  The struggle is being consistent wherever you are and not falling to the temptation of covering up who you really are.


Many men I know have what is called a “Man Cave.”  A man cave by informal definition is a place where the sacred act of Manning it Up happens.  Manning it up just means you’re watching TV in your favorite chair while throwing dietary caution to the wind.  The wind is broken on multiple counts in a man cave and no one cares.  Unsuspecting feet won’t step on a fugitive Lego, and a smattering of carpet encrusted Cheetoh dust is common, and often overlooked for years on end.  Children and wives are seldom invited into this wholey of wholies.  The kind of man cave addressed in this post is action oriented as opposed to being a passive noun.

Man, since Adam, has caved in while under pressure.

He got caught sampling a delicious red with the promise of becoming wiser than God Almighty and then blamed it on his wife when God came into the garden for His daily stroll.  Adam caved.  He caved to the pressure of a promise of something more pleasurable than he’d been given.  Just like him, all men cave and have done so, without exception, from when the core got tossed into the bush Adam would hide his naked body behind.

We cave to temptation because we are natural cavers.

Romans 3:23 …There is none that hasn’t caved, not even one…

Romans 6:23 …For the wages of caving is death…

Adam not only caved – he covered.  He covered his shame in a bunch of hastily made fig leaves.  Since the first man, fig leaves have fallen out of fashion, but not function.  We cover ourselves in the fig leaves of false piety.  We wear figgy facades that cover our true faces.  Even the best of Christians don’t uncover themselves completely.  A psychological concept known as the Johari Window gives good explanation on how we live a large portion of our life in covering, or hiding ourselves.


This window is made up of four smaller windows.

  • The first window consists of what I know about you, and what you know about you.
  • The second is the blind window and this is what I know about you, but what you don’t know about you.
  • The third is the hidden window.  It is what you know about you, but what I don’t know about you.
  • Lastly, no one knows what’s in the fourth.  It is your potential and has not yet been discovered by anyone except God.

The panes in this window to the soul are all the same size and dimension in the graph, but that is not how it is in reality.  Based upon circumstances, my blind window may be huge based upon how aware I am of myself and my surroundings.  Yours may be the known window where perhaps you have no problem communicating your vast knowledge of your own character to others.  The hidden window, whether a Christian or not, is one of the biggest windows of the soul.  The shades that cover the hidden window of the soul are sown of the figs of human failing.

The reasons for hiding are many, but most of it boils down to the textbook fear of rejection by God and others.

“If they really knew me, I couldn’t get a job.”  

“If anyone found out, I would go to jail.”  

“If he finds out, he will divorce me.”

“If my cover gets blown, I’m going to kill myself.”

Shame is produced in mass quantity behind the fig shades.  It’s factory has a slave driving foreman who demands the exhausted and collapsing to work around the clock with no lunch break.  Hiding is more work than what it’s worth though.  You can enter into a deeper level of your relationship with God when you discover the difference between professing Christ and confessing Christ.  Professing Christians speak from the known window, and confessing Christians from the hidden window.  The COVER hides the CAVER.

Let’s get something out in the open.

A true professing Christian is a confessing Christian.

You and I will continue to cave to sin until we see Jesus face to face.  Maturing in Christ means that you’re no longer a slave to sin, but it never says that you won’t sin.  I heard a mentor of mine say “Some brothers tout their [Christian] liberty as license to sin.  What they don’t know yet is that they’re not free NOT to sin.”  You and I will battle daily with sin which means you won’t always win.

This doesn’t take away the fact that God gets robbed of His glory when we do engage in sin, or that the Holy Spirit grieves, or that God will discipline us after the fact.  Don’t be afraid to confess that you’re a caver.  I cave frequently, and so do you.  I am not glorying in the cave, but I can’t deny that I have a rich history of cave diving.

Professing Christians who COVER say things like:

  • “I stole a piece of bubble gum in a grocery store when I was 5 and never did it again.”
  • “I lied to my parents about sneaking out… ONCE.”
  • “I almost looked at a playboy in an airport one time a loooooong time ago.”
  • “One time I got tipsy while sipping wine that I thought was sparkling grape juice at my church’s small group New Year’s Party, but that was like in 2008.”

Confessing Christians who CAVE say things like:

  • “I stole a twix last week from Target, and felt so bad that I went back and paid for it a day later.”
  • “I struggle with hating my boss and I gossiped about her 30 minutes ago, but I just messaged her and asked if we could talk next week so I can make it right between us.”
  • “I have a bi-weekly habit of looking at porn and I HATE it, but I can’t stop.  I finally set up an appointment with the counselor at church and threw my phone down face first on 71 south.”
  • “Sometimes I get so drunk on the weekend that I have to sit out in the lobby during worship on Sunday because I’m still nursing a massive hangover.  I need help but I’m too ashamed to say anything.”

I completely understand that a lot of you reading this post don’t struggle like the confessions you just read, but many of your brothers and sisters in Christ do.  If you feel better about yourself because you aren’t as broken as others, you may have uncovered the most dangerous sin of all.  It’s like the radon of the soul.  It’s there, but you can’t smell it or detect it without the help of a professional and it will kill you.

It’s called Pride.

The goal is not to stay in sin.  The goal is to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  God wants you to admit fault and seek His favorable response to your sincere apology (1 John 2:1).  The goal is to do battle with sin, but fig leaves don’t make for a good defense against the creative, field-tested, and highly organized adversary who writes a plan of attack while you’re sleeping.

Ephesians 6:12 (AMP) – 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.

Doing battle requires that you stand in a position of readiness and cover yourself with the standard issued gear.


When I was 13, my mom and dad gave me a guitar.  I didn’t have a Nintendo or anything else to entertain me so I played guitar.  My friend Eddie showed me how to play “One” and “Sanitarium” by Metallica and I played them over, and over…

and over…

…until my sister screamed at me pleading for it to stop!

The good thing about that guitar was that it did not come with a case.  It got dropped a few times and has the marks to show but leaving it out helped me get the hang of it rather quickly.  If I’d had a case, it would have protected it for sure, but I would have gotten bored and found other things to do.

The same rule applies to your confession.  Regardless of how hypocritical it may seem, you’re authenticity is weapon of offense in our spiritual arsenal.  God wants to move from being a Professional Christian, beyond becoming a professing Christian, to confessing Christ.

  1. Keep it out.

    Don’t put your confession back in it’s case.  You shouldn’t even have a case for it.  Your confession isn’t going to get damaged by any other way than by putting it away.  

  2. Keep it real.

    Be you.  No matter how hard and contradictory it may seem, be yourself.  Many of your fellow coworkers may start taking your confession seriously if you drop the facade and refuse to go back into hiding behind the fig leaves.

In the End:

Your profession as a Christian cannot be reduced to your title at work.  Through the many transitions you’ll experience in life, you’re profession of Christ should remain unchanged by learning to confess the Christ you profess.

The struggle against sin will one day be over when those in Christ are “translated” as Paul said, into the very likeness of Jesus Christ.  Until then, suit up and stand in a position of readiness.  Get real about your caving tendencies through confessing your sins to God and other Christians.


For the Professional Christian:  If you’re in a job that requires you to be someone other than who God called you to be, you have a couple of options, in my opinion.

  1. It’s time for a new job.

    God knows this and has something else set aside for you.  Changing jobs is not the only answer though.  It’s just easier than changing you.

  2. It’s time for a new you.

    No matter where you work, or what your profession is, God wants to display what He can do for others by using you as an example of His goodness.  Once you pull the fig shades back, that sin can’t resist being thrown out into the open.  It will die a very satisfying death but don’t get too comfortable.  It always moves back in though and it will until we see Christ face to face.  You just know what to do with it now the next time it happens.

10 thoughts on “How to Know if Your Profession matches your Confession

  1. Leaving the way open for another blog comparing Manning ‘it’ up to Manning Up – whicjyis entirely different.
    Enjoying your writing


  2. Me and my wife want to find a “no presssure” church but are still working on it. We want our girls to have some religious background We live a good life and find God in the outdoors and in the small things in life. We’re not big on a building to worship in, but others are and we respect all faiths

    Liked by 1 person

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