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If there’s one thing everyone wants, it should be that “dream job,” one where you have power and influence, lots of cash, and a lifestyle that ninety-nine percent of people would envy. Let’s dream a little more, everyone likes to dream, right? How to win a lottery; What would you do with your winnings… a million dollars, for example? You may be able to buy some items like that house, a boat, or a car, but you probably still have to work.

The best jobs have a few things in common. You are treated with a lot of respect, have a great office, flexible hours, access to the best facilities and benefits, and you can also most likely afford a nice house, car, etc. The “dream job” actually offers the “dream life.”

It’s great to dream. Everyone who has ever really achieved something that they have dreamed of, visualizing what they want to do and what they want to acquire. There is no shortage of people throughout history who have dreamed and then somehow ‘known’ the path that leads to the dream’s realization.

When it comes to vocation, I tend to believe that we have to “do” something in this life; most people would agree. We can’t just get filthy rich and cruise our luxury yachts all day, every day. We have to work. And the work is good. The ancient biblical philosophy writer Qoheleth resolved that the secret of life was to enjoy work and then simply rest. Therefore, it is for us that we must strive to achieve the balance between work, rest and play.

Knowing that work is good for us is fine, but that doesn’t give us the dream job or the dream life now, does it? I believe that the secret to getting the dream job lies in two complementary things, which lead a person to wisdom. (Note that the ancients told us that wisdom is more valuable than fine gold and silver.)

These two complementary attributes are: 1) having knowledge, and 2) having a good heart. To further illustrate this point, here is the following quote:

“Look around you and you find a lot of knowledgeable people. Look elsewhere and you find a lot of good-hearted people. But we look hard to find good-hearted and knowledgeable people, or rather, people who have learned to integrate their knowledge hard-earned with his grace-imparted goodness.” -Terry C. Muck.[1]

There are literally millions of people who have worked hard, earned college or university degrees, degrees and doctorates, but don’t know excuse me to live. There is a fatal flaw in the makeup of the personality, or there is ambition driven by greed, or there is a lack of appreciation for things to be thankful for. Many very knowledgeable people are like that; it’s so unfortunate, because they really are in a position to have a great life, but they will never know how, without seeking qualities of wisdom and spirituality and the like. We’ve all heard the quote, “money isn’t good for you when you’re dead.” However, many knowledgeable people just don’t get it. In the wisdom of Proverbs, they are “fools,” and Proverbs 17:16 says, “Of what use is money in the hands of a fool, if he does not wish to acquire wisdom?” People who lack this meaning in life literally lack “heart.”

This brings us to the other quality for the dream job and life: a good heart. Good-hearted people have learned the message of vital life that character development is the key to success and happiness in life, as it goes a long way in establishing peaceful relationships with everyone.

People with a “good heart” are kind, generous, forgiving. They can recover from injury and do not hurt others on purpose. They are of good courage and faith. They defend respect, both for others and for themselves. They understand the need to work hard and provide for those who depend on them. They know how to live in peace, not only with others, but also with themselves. James says that they are “pure, then peaceable, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere”.[2] Some people may not think much of being “submissive”, but the truth is that it is the way to have a good heart. Somehow it works for the submissive person on the path of wisdom.

Can you imagine the power you would have if you had a good education AND a good character? The world is your oyster. Many things can be yours with good knowledge and a good heart in your possession. In addition, you will finally take the one that is really the best option regarding the work that you want to do. You will love your life because it will be full of hope, you will have good things and people to love, and you will be loved. I couldn’t think of anything better!

Where are your gaps… knowledge or heart? Chances are you can improve both.

© Steve J. Wickham, 2008. All rights reserved worldwide.

[1] T.C. Muck, “General Editor’s Preface” in NIV Application Commentary: Proverbs, by PE Koptak (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003), p. eleven

[2] James 3:17 (NIV)

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