I was reading another blog post (as I am apt to do – I love exploring the vast internet) and what I was reading was just striking me just so, so I wanted to write about it. There are two parts from the article (found here) that really just struck me as I was reading it, so I’ll break it down and just talk about those two parts. It’s fun, the way I’ve been reading stuff lately and I just feel so inspired and fired up to write about it.
The first part is this:
The first is that Christian parents and certainly Christian churches need to teach students that God calls people to be more than full-time pastors or missionaries to Zimbabwe.
For the longest time when I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be a teacher (in a Lutheran school). I think, in part, because my dad used to be a teacher. The rest of the motivation I’m not sure that I remember, but it was what I answered when I was asked, “Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
And so when I realized that I no longer wanted to be a teacher, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to be, I struggled with it a lot. There was definitely an emphasis in the schools I went to that to serve God you must be a teacher or a pastor, that those were the superior ways to serve God. And don’t get me wrong, those are great ways to serve God. But they aren’t the only ways to serve God. Growing up, I know I heard the message that you can glorify God in all things, but I also heard the subtle message that the best way to do so was through being a teacher or a pastor (if you were a man).
In fact, even after I started college, I was still struggling with this fact. It actually took a conversation with a friend of mine, who is now a pastor (but who was just a seminary student at the time), on the way home from church to have it really set in the idea of the doctrine of vocation (which is how Martin Luther referred to it).
Basically, it’s the idea that God calls some to be teachers and pastors, yes, but God calls people to all walks and occupations in life. And it’s totally backed up in scripture (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-30). We need more than just pastors and teachers, we need the lay people of the church too. And understanding this, truly understanding this, blew my mind wide open. Because I had a heart that wanted to serve God but Satan was tricking me into believing that I couldn’t serve God right where I was at, that I needed special credentials to serve him. But that’s not true. I can serve Him right where I am. Being a stay at home mom, taking care of my household and raising my son, I am still an important part of the body of Christ. Just as important as a pastor or a teacher, just as the sense of hearing is as important as the sense of sight, theu’re just different.
Which kind of leads to the second part I wanted to highlight:
Christianity is not something that is compartmentalized when one is singing a worship song, having a quiet time or sharing a Four Spiritual Laws tract with a friend. Christianity is an entire worldview which impacts — and often transforms — every aspect of one’s life.
It goes without saying that if you realize that you in your everyday normal job realize this, you live your life differently. Because when you live your life to the glory of God, it looks different to the rest of the world. Suddenly you’re no longer showing up just to punch the clock at your nine to five job and get a paycheck. You’re showing up because your job with your gifts and talents is part of what God has set before you to do and by doing so, you are striving to glorify Him.
I was actually having a conversation sort of about this earlier. Because I was saying to someone, when you truly believe what the Bible says, you’re going to live it out, it’s going to impact your whole life. You don’t just show up once a week and punch your church card. No, you do your best to live it day in and day out, because Christianity isn’t some fad. It isn’t something you “do” on Sunday mornings. No, Christianity is your life. And yes, you will not live it perfectly all the time because we’re sinful human beings, which is why we need a Savior. But when you are trying to live for Him, it is different, and that’s a guarantee.