One of the most common questions asked by many of us in the workplace, particularly in the earlier stages of our career, is: “What am I called to do?” And given the range of industries and job functions that exist today, it is not uncommon to regularly ask whether we should stay where we are or whether we should move onto something different.
How then do we find out what we’re called to do? Certainly, the first step is to pray and ask God for wisdom because He gives generously and will answer our prayers (James 1:5). What next? Calling can be difficult to evaluate because it can be viewed as something subjective. How do we do we know if we’re really called to something or if it’s just our preference? Are those mutually exclusive?
Fortunately, while the topic of calling can be very complex and nuanced, God’s Word simplifies it for us. If you were to do a survey of our calling in the New Testament, you would find that our calling is pretty clear. Here are a few examples of what God has called us to:
- “…called to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:6)
- “…called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2)
- “…called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
- “…called to the one hope.” (Ephesians 4:4)
- “…called us to a holy calling.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
- “…called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
- “…called us to his own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)
To what does God call us? Our calling is to follow Jesus as His disciple — to know Him, to imitate Him as saints, to have fellowship with Him, to hope in Him, to see His glory. (If you would like to go deeper into this topic, Os Guiness has written a great book on this called, “The Call”.)
Therefore, as we face career choices, God gives us guidance by telling us that whatever we do, we should seek to follow Jesus as our primary call. Have you ever used that as your ultimate criteria for evaluating a job? Or, if you are currently unhappy at work, how might reflecting on your primary call to Jesus affect your outlook?
Practically, then, how might following Jesus affect what type of job to take?
As mentioned above, answering that question first requires much prayer. Second, God’s Word is sufficient — meaning that it provides all the instruction we need to live a life that pleases God in every aspect, including our careers — and we should thus look intently into the Bible for direction. God has also given us members of His church to provide counsel according to His Word and to hel pus evaluate questions like how would a potential job impact your ability to follow Jesus in your family, church, and community.
If you’re interested in learning more about what God’s Word has to say about following Jesus and making career choices, come to our seminar this Saturday, May 4 from 10 AM to 12 PM (yes, this post is part shameless promotion)!
Bill Fullilove, a pastor at McLean Presbyterian Church and a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary will be joining us and giving a talk entitled “Christian Calling and Career Choices”. Bill brings a unique perspective as pastor, theologian, and former businessman, and has counselled many people at their beginning of their careers on this topic. You can learn more at the event page on the City.