Saturday, February 14, 2009

Employment for a Calling

Knowing your calling is really important. Too many Christians have only ever looked for paid employment and just assume that their employment is their calling. They are frustrated, because they are not fulfilling their calling.

If your calling does not pay, finding paid employment can be quite liberating. Some Christians leave their calling on hold while dreaming of a rich benefactor who will fund them to exercise their calling. This is a vain hope. No one will understand the value of calling as much as the person called. If they get paid employment, they can be the benefactor for their own calling. They are freed from dependence on trite promises that God will provide.

Understanding that your employment frees you to fulfil your calling will quell the frustration at what can sometimes seem to be pointless effort. Hard work flies by, if you know that it will support you to do something of value. Stitching stinking skins into tents can be fun if you are discussing peoples to reach and churches to plant.

Sometimes our employment will quite different from the calling. Making tents has very little to do with apostleship. Some people with more intellectual callings may need to do physical work to support themselves.

Christians should choose employment that will give their freedom to do their calling. Paul could have earned more money working as a lawyer for the Roman Empire, but it would have limited his freedom to be an apostle. Academia my provide employment for those with intellectual callings, but it can also limit their freedom to follow their dreams. I chose not to get employment as an economist with a secular institution, as that would compromise or confuse my freedom to publicise a Christian view of economics.

1 comment:

Ron McK said...

Christians should be salt and light whether they are exercising their calling or working in paid employment. They should choose their employers carefully, because they are required to submit to the authority of their employer.

If the employer is not a Christian, he may not allow an employee to share the gospel during work time. That is not unreasonable, so a Christian in this situation will have to cover some of their light under a bushel. That does not matter, if it is shining clearly in other activities where they are free to manifest their calling is.

Employers that force their employees to do things that are contrary to the gospel should be avoided.