On Monday, I confessed to you about my selfish calling. I described a list of goals that was about me, and not about God’s will or my wife and children. Today, I want to tell you why I think I was selfish.
#1. When people teach about calling, it’s always about the individual.
Donald Miller says it best, “I interpreted God’s calling on my life to mean I was better than other people.” For as long as I can remember, I have learned that God will place a calling on my life, something that I am specifically wired to do, that will bring God glory, and will fit perfectly within my unique gifts and abilities. Yes, people have taught me that “calling” is about God and the world, but it’s always with the understanding that that my calling is about what I can do for God and the world. So it wasn’t about God, I understood that “calling” was about my gifts, abilities, and purpose.
But now, I’m starting to think that it’s not about what I can do, but instead about what God is doing. And what does God do? He loves people to bring them into a relationship with himself. Maybe, that’s supposed to be my calling. Instead of it being an individual thing about me, it’s about loving other people and helping them know Jesus. And that leads me to the second myth I have believed about calling.
#2. I’ve always thought “calling” was about my job.
As I have admitted in previous posts, I have completed strength’s tests, spiritual gifts analyses, and the DISC profile. I have written down lists of desires, passions, and skills – and tried to map out a clear understanding of who I am and why I’m on this Earth. And I have always thought, that in doing these tests and profiles, I was searching for my calling.
In his book, It’s Your Call, Gary Barkalow quotes Phil 2:13 and says that all of us as Christians have the same calling: “to do what pleases him [God].” And what pleases God, Jesus summarizes it with the greatest commandment and the second greatest commandment – to love God and love others. So our calling is not about the individual, it’s about the community, and about what God is doing in the world. Our calling is simple, and it’s the same for you and for me: love God and love others.
Don’t misread this post: it’s important to search for your passions and the things you’re good at. But be warned that it can distract you from God’s calling on your life. If you open up the Bible and look for the things God has called us to do, you will find lists like: seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. That is “calling!” (Micah 6:8)
Obviously, there were people who were called to specific rolls, at specific times, to accomplish specific tasks – I think of Moses, all of the prophets, and Joseph – and you may have a specific assignment just like they did. But that doesn’t change the fact that God is calling all Christians to the same things: to love him and to love others.
Do you agree? What other things does God call us as Christians to do? Comment below to start the discussion…