Balancing Faith and Finances When Changing Jobs

As believers in Christ, we are often challenged to live life differently than the secular world around us. We prioritize God’s kingdom over personal gain, value faithfulness over worldly success, and embrace obedience over wealth accumulation. But when it comes to our careers, is it inherently wrong to consider switching jobs solely for a better paycheck?

It’s a thought-provoking question. And it turns out that the decision to change jobs based primarily on pay might have a more godly rationale behind it than one might initially think. Here are two vital questions every Christian should ponder when contemplating such a decision.

1. How does a job change align with your divine mission?

Consider the relationships you’ve built at work. If you’ve nurtured significant connections with your colleagues, a job change will impact those relationships. Where is God’s hand guiding you? Are there individuals in your workplace He is calling you to support and evangelize?

I remember a time when I switched jobs due to a significant pay difference. For eight years, I had been providing in-home therapy to a boy with autism. Leaving felt like a betrayal.

However, my decision to leave was driven by a pressing need. The school district funding the therapy decided to change its approach and my role was relegated to an aide, which meant a 60% pay cut. Given my husband and I were funding an international adoption, the reduction in income was simply not feasible. We were already stretched financially and relied on my income.

So, I chose to stay on for the summer at a reduced rate before moving on to a better-paying job. The decision wasn’t easy and I believe it was perceived as a betrayal by the family I had served. My choice seemed to revolve around money, and in a way it did. We had to make sacrifices for our adoption and the hardest one I made was leaving a job—and a child—I cherished.

So, if you’re considering a job change for better pay, don’t take the decision lightly. Reflect on the relationships you will be leaving behind.

2. What’s fueling your quest for more money?

Money in itself is not evil. It provides for our families, aids our neighbors, feeds the hungry, and contributes to building the church. We’re called to be stewards, not to embrace poverty. However, we must remember this sobering admonition:

“Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Tim. 6:9–10)

This warning reminds us of our susceptibility to greed and the temptation to stray from faith in the pursuit of wealth. Greed is a stealthy adversary, not immediately noticeable. Therefore, it’s crucial to pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and discernment. Evaluate your motivations: Are you eager to grow as a faithful steward, or are you seeking personal comfort? Don’t hesitate to seek advice from fellow believers, as the pitfalls related to wealth are too perilous to navigate alone.

In Christ Alone, Our Hope is Found

For those of us blessed with choices and opportunities, the lure of something more can be overwhelming. Yet, the quest for “better options” can lead us down a dizzying rabbit hole.

Switching jobs for an increased salary might bring new challenges—tougher boss, unfavorable schedule, or heavier workload. Regardless of your decision to stay or leave, remember that true satisfaction, fulfillment, and contentment are found only in Christ.