Our work or vocation is very much a part of the Gospel story. In this series, The Gospel Coalition India invites working professionals and entrepreneurs to reflect on their work through the five chapters of the gospel narrative—creation, fall, redemption, renewal and new creation.
Joshua Joseph reflects on how his role as a credit analyst connects with the gospel narrative.
Vocation: Tell us about your work
I am a credit analyst who helps rate banks. Basically, we give a fixed rating to the bank when it wants to issue debt in the market. This rating helps the market know that the bank is relatively safer than other companies out there.
Creation: How Does Your Work Connect with God’s Original Creation Plan for Humanity?
I believe that God initiated the concept of work. Hence, I see work as God given. This makes me try and see God’s creation in all my colleagues.
Honestly, I am unsure exactly how my day-to-day work connects directly with God’s original creation plan for humanity. But I am convinced that I have been placed here by God.
By worrying about the salary I was neglecting to trust Jesus to take hold of my tomorrow.
This conviction helps me to show up, be present, and engage with the people around me. So, I try not to reject the environment I am in and to be present in the moment.
Fall: How is Your Work Making You Aware of Your Own Brokenness and the Brokenness of the World Around You?
Let me set the context before I answer this question. When the interview for this role came up, a lot of my friends in college had turned this down because the offered salary was low.
I had majored in finance and intentionally did not opt for the dual major the college offered. I wanted to work in a company and role that was proper finance and hence I went ahead with this interview.
During the interview, as well as after it, the way things fell into place, I felt that God was leading me toward this company. So I ended up accepting the offer thinking that I had made my peace with the low salary part of it.
But during my first year in Mumbai, I found myself being a little bitter toward God about the money issues. To add to it, over the course of time, this my colleagues would echo this salary issue during our usual coffee break catch-ups.
We would discuss how the salary was tough to live with, but the work was nice. We all enjoyed our work but wished we got paid as much as other companies were paying our peers.
At that point, I began to question whether I believed that running to another company that pays more would bring me actual happiness. It also led me to wonder if I was working focusing so much on day-to-day worries, contrary to what Matthew 6:25 says. I was reminded that God is in control.
Also, I had the opportunity to be an example to my colleagues by showing them that faith in Jesus is better than faith in anything else. But I was failing.
By worrying about the salary I was neglecting to trust Jesus to take hold of my tomorrow. It is still a struggle for me to resist succumbing to that fear and worry because I find that I am wired that way.
Redemption: Could You Share a Recent Example of How the Gospel Made You a Better Worker?
Sometimes I can be short-tempered. The study and discussion of two verses have helped me have a shift in perspective.
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In addition, Romans 5:8 says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
When I am at my workplace and anywhere else, I try not to pass judgment on someone because they sin differently from me.
These verses taught me to look at those around me through the lens of compassion and understanding.
When I am at my workplace and anywhere else, I try not to pass judgment on someone because they sin differently from me. I tend to rank sin in order sometimes so I am just learning to work on that area of my life right now.
Renewal: How Are You Able to Love and Serve Others In and Through Your Work?
I was reading a book called The Leadership Secrets of Jesus by Mike Murdock. In it, the author says that Jesus was not aloof in his ministry, but on the move.
He did not always move to the outskirts of the city to be alone; he was among the people who needed healing, preaching to them. He goes on to write that we should also embody this characteristic of Jesus.
It struck me that living this out is difficult for me because I tend to be introverted. So, I am not fond of the outlook to be with people and talk to them. But even in that God is teaching me to grow in serving others and not to live in isolation.
New Creation: How Do You Connect Your Work Here and Now to Our Longing for the Perfect World That Christ Will Bring When He Comes Again?
In my mind, I am not sure what the specifics of eternity would look like. I do not think I can formulate an accurate picture in my head. But I feel like we might not even need finance, at least not the way I know it or we know it now.
However, I feel that God brought me to the city for this job. I do not know how permanent or temporary that is, but while I am here, I guess I need to make sure that others are coming towards Jesus.
Hopefully, as they see his example through me, they should want to draw near to him. I am reminded that we are stewards of what we are entrusted with here on earth. The little resources, including time, that we are entrusted with here on earth should prepare us for greater responsibility in the world to come.