Called to Work
The theological doctrine of calling is a rich, rich doctrine all of us should wrestle with and embrace.
Calling is a broad category. First we are called to someone. We were created for relationships with others. Calling encompasses this vast idea that we were created with relationship in mind—relationship with God and with others. Calling embraces our created essence and how the gospel redeems us for every nook and cranny of life. When we think of calling, we need to think of that broad category first.
We should understand work as a vital aspect of that calling. We are not only called to someone, we are called to do something and contribute. We should define calling as a relationship first and then a task. We are all created with work in mind; from cradle to grave we contribute to God’s good world and to others, whether we are paid or not. A job will be a big part for most of us in that calling. However, we are also created to contribute to our family and to our community in other ways that may be unpaid but which is still God-ordained work.
We need to understand that work is more (but not less) than a paycheck and it encompasses all of life.
It is interesting that the psalmist ends a wonderful benediction with, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17). That is our prayer as men: that whatever we are called to do, whether we are paid or not, that God would confirm the work of our hands for his glory.