The Professional

“Professionalism: It’s not the job you do, it’s how you do the job.”  – Anonymous

People tend to think that being a professional means having a certain kind of job — doctor, lawyer, architect, etc. Why is that? I suspect that it is because it used to be that one had to be a professional kind of person in order to get that kind of job. But that is simply not true anymore.

Somewhere along the line modern people have lost sight of… well, truth be known, we have lost sight of lots of things. But foremost among what has been lost is the love of work. Even suggesting such a thing seems odd to our contemporary consumer culture. People today don’t love to work, they love to play. Work is simply the necessary task that funds our playtime. We have become a society of revellers, at least that is what the media would have us think and be.

Peter spoke of the lifestyle of the Gentiles as being the lifestyle that was given up in Christ. He described that lifestyle as being filled with sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, lawlessness, idolatry and debauchery (1 Peter 4:3 -4). Notice the extent that the media culture describes this very lifestyle as the ideal to be sought after, as if success itself is the gateway to such a life. The degree of the conformity of the contemporary media culture, the culture of globalism, wealth and success, with the biblical portrayal of sin and faithlessness is astounding.

So, what does this have to do with professionalism? Everything and in every way. The real professional works as an expression of his or her calling. The real professional does not work for money, nor as a way to fund hobbies or pleasure, though there is nothing wrong with getting paid or having hobbies or enjoying life.

The real professional works for a higher purpose. The real professional works in the service of his or her profession, and by profession I mean the avowal of some belief, opinion or religion. A professional without a profession (principled beliefs) is like a ship without a rudder. For the true professional, it doesn’t matter what job is being done. What matters is that it is done to best of his or her abilities so that the work itself will be a testimony to his or her profession.

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