As Christians, do we need to think more carefully about the time we spend in our workplaces?
I think we do, and the key part of it is to “know your why”. We need to ask that question: why am I here? What am I doing? Some people go to work for cash. Some go for career. Some do it for a cause. Some only live for the weekend: “I want the money because I love surfing and want to buy a new surfboard.” But in all those cases you will burn out.
Calling is critical. It’s not by random accident that you are where you are. God is really interested in what you’re doing and wants you to succeed and prosper. Obviously we go through hard times, but at least we know we’re in the flow of the work of the Spirit.
When you know and understand you’re loved by God, that you are known by him and called, it forms the foundation for what you can do with the rest of your life.
Is it bad to work for money, recreation, career or cause?
No. Most of us will probably do all of them. The point is there should be a linkage between all of them. So the cash desire doesn’t totally screw up your life and marriage because you’re driven towards it and single-minded.
How do we discern our calling?
First you have to believe in a God who is there. There’s a general call to every Christian that’s the same: to go, make disciples and see people filled with the Spirit, and to love your neighbour. That’s the first bit. But there’s a specific sense too.
Many people only associate calling with Christian ministry
Yes, because Christian ministers, when they describe it, say: “Your calling is what you’re passionate about and will give your life for.” But what if you’re an accountant? Are you going to give your life for the accountancy profession? Probably not, but you’re still called to it!
GOD IS REALLY INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED AND PROSPER
What do you say to the shop assistant who asks: “In what sense is God calling me?”?
For many people, life is hard and the jobs are not interesting. But the calling isn’t only the job you’re doing. It’s about the attitude with which you do it, the people you’re meeting, the conversations you’re having, the life you have afterwards. You can be a victim and say, “There’s nothing I can do”, or you can turn it around and become victorious just by simple changes of attitude.
How do we encourage people to see that the thing that’s missing is Jesus?
We, as individuals, as churches and as a country, need to know our why. We have to know the overall picture of living every day with purpose.
A whole generation doesn’t want the same patterns. They’re cynical about government and institutions. We’ve got to create an alternative outside the current set-up and say there’s another way of living. It’s more exciting and fulfilling.
Know Your Why (Thomas Nelson) is out now
Hear the full interview on Premier Christian Radio, Saturday 8th October at 4pm