Implications of Calling
A biblical view of work runs throughout all of Scripture. Our work plays a part in God’s plan for the restoration of his kingdom. We have lost sight of this perspective and consequently lost our sense of calling.
So, what is calling, and what does it mean for our lives?
There are two types of calling:
- General calling: The primary meaning of calling in Scripture is general – God calls us out of an old, sinful way of life into a new, redeemed, and faithful way of life.
- Particular calling: This type of calling, used in I Corinthians 7:17-24, refers to our state or condition of life.
The implication of the general call is to be faithful to the Lord in all areas of our lives – including our families, our church, our nation, and our work. We are called to a new way of life and faithfulness to our Lord. When we are faithful to the callings God has placed upon our lives, we will experience meaning, significance, and wholeness. If our priorities are askew, we will not.
Calling impacts and orients our lives in a variety of ways:
- A sense of calling gives us perspective on what we do. Whether we succeed or fail, we can sustain motivation to our calling if we remain faithful.
- Calling can keep us from compromising. Sometimes in our work we face the temptation to compromise our values. We may be challenged to act unethically in order to advance in our careers.
- We are called to be good stewards of our gifts. I Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11-13, list various gifts in the body of Christ. We are called to know our gifts and to use them vigorously for his kingdom. Our “natural” gifts are our “created” gifts – given to us by God. The Fall has withered, misdirected, or twisted our natural gifts. However, the Holy Spirit can redirect these gifts to benefit both the church and the world.
- Don’t expect a “perfect” use of your gifts. We live in a world that is far from perfect. It is often difficult to find a job that fully fits your gifts. Even if you could land the perfect job, you would find that it wasn’t perfect because you and the people around you are fallen. Although you shouldn’t expect perfection, you should strive to be a good steward of the gifts you were given.
What do you think? How can calling impact and orient your life and work?
Read more about God’s intent for work in How Then Should We Work?: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work by Hugh Whelchel, executive director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.