This morning in Sunday School we were in Ephesians 4 and we spent the majority of our time discussing the term “calling”. In verse 1 we read, “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” What is a calling? Who is called? Why are we called? What are we called to? From?
We were asked what a life worthy looked like. The first thought that came to my mind was a striving for excellence. I am to strive for excellence as I carry out my calling. That is a tall order.
What is my calling? For years I have received not only bad but very wrong information regarding callings. I have been taught if one is “called” that means they are called to be a pastor or missionary. No one it seems is ever called to be a banker, a Fortune 500 company owner, a plumber or a janitor. If you’ve got a call of God on your life, you will be a pastor or a missionary.
I’ve also been told it is my job, my calling, to fill every single need in church. If I hear of a need and I don’t rush to fill it, no matter what it might be, I am sinning and not fulfilling my calling. As if Jesus wanted a bunch of worn out, burned out Christians running around doing so much FOR Him they forget to reach the people He came to save.
I’ve also been told that if I’m not specifically called to a certain task, or I’m not comfortable performing a task, I’m off the hook. All I have to do is say, “That isn’t my calling” or “That isn’t my gift” or the really big one, “God hasn’t called me (told me) to do that.” Who can argue with that? I think sometimes God gets blamed for a lot of our lazy tendencies.
What is my calling though? Right here, right now, what I am called to do? to be? I am called to full-time ministry to love my husband and my children. I am called to selflessly model the attitude of Jesus. I am to show them His love, His grace, His mercy. I am called to be Mr. FullCup’s helper. I am called to train my children to grow up in Jesus. To be His girls. I am to train them to be productive members of society.
The funny thing about callings and the thing I hold on to with all my might, is the 3 words in verse 1, “…you have received…”. How absolutely freeing that is. I have to walk in a manner worthy of the calling I have received. I don’t have to walk worthy of your calling. And you don’t have to walk worthy of mine.
To go one step further, I don’t have to fulfill your calling. I don’t have to answer the call of God on YOUR life. I can’t. I’m not equipped for that. And quite frankly, I just don’t want to. Because you see, I have a hard enough time walking worthy of my calling.
Also, as I walk in a manner worthy of my calling, it might be a different walk than yours, even if our calling is the same. I have a different outlook on life, (some of you are very thankful), I have different life experiences, a different personality. I can’t look at you and say you’re not walking worthy of your calling just because it looks different on you. And the same is true for me. One can’t say I’m doing it wrong just because it looks different.
Isn’t that freeing?! Doesn’t that make you want to jump, shout and shake yourself about?