Discovering your faith calling
Growing up, I heard that I had a “unique calling,” that I ought to find “my calling,” and that I should follow God in my “calling.” I’m not sure it was explicitly said, but I was led to believe that calling and career were synonymous, and that the more you honored God, the more you’d achieve in that calling. For the most part, when religious leaders talk about calling, it seems they’re using it as a code word for a specific thing—your job. Your career. Your vocation. What you do.
But that kind of understanding of calling produces unintended consequences. For instance, what happens when you limit the notion of calling to your vocation, your career, or your daily obligations? If you’re anything like me, you wrap your entire identity up in it. And then? For the sake of your God-given calling, you’ll leverage everything—your time, your talent, your money. You may find yourself losing connection to the things that matter most to you.
Sure, our day-to-day jobs and vocations comprise part of our calling, but we’re not so one-dimensional. Just as we’re made up of both body and soul, our calling has two distinct facets—a faith calling and a vocational calling. I firmly believe that those two distinct facets of our calling are interconnected. In fact, it’s my belief that everything we do (our vocational callings) serves as a vehicle to share who we are—people loved by God and called to love God and share his love with the people of this world (our faith calling). And if we’re going to live a life of meaning and purpose, we have to make our faith calling our priority.
As Christians, we draw our faith calling directly from Christ himself. In the book of Matthew, a religious leader asked Jesus what the most important command might be. His answer was simple: love God and love others (Matthew 22:34–39). Regardless of your specific vocational callings, the faith calling of the Christian is to love God with everything we have and to love others with the same love God has extended to us, particularly through Christ. Love God. Love people. Your vocational callings can and most likely will change, but your core faith calling never will.