There is a great emphasis in our society on working, and rightfully so. We work to feed our families, pay for shelter, and care for ourselves. It is possible, however, that many of us have overemphasized the monetary benefit of working, and therefore, have turned people away from their calling from God to search instead for work based primarily on the pay scale. This type of employment I call a job.
A job is simply the task we do to get paid. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with a job, but I do worry that an underlying message focused on monetary gain as the major goal may be a recipe for disaster in the long run. We go to jobs, perform tasks, and receive a benefit. We can execute jobs without being deeply connected. We are able to arrive at the start of our day, work very hard, and expel emotional energy. We might even work extra hours if it means extra pay. Typically, it's not a problem to separate a job from one's "real life." Whether employed as a housekeeper, social worker, banker, chaplain, police officer or cook, all these jobs are important. However, most people wouldn't hesitate to walk away from a job once the check went away.
Calling is different. Calling inspires a deeper commitment to your work. Calling pushes a person to ask significant questions about what they do with their lives—questions such as Who am I? What are my gifts and talents? How is my life being shaped by this work? What life would remaining in this work make impossible for me? Calling pushes us deeper into ourselves when choosing a college, or taking an internship. It doesn't allow us to jump at every opportunity simply because it pays more. We take personal responsibility about our life direction and choices.
Sometimes we are aware that ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more