Ask Salt&Light: How do I figure out my God-given vocation?
Gerald Tan // March 3, 2020, 1:35 pm
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
I am a fresh graduate who is still trying to figure out my God-given vocation. Will I ever know what it is for sure?
Yun L., 24, communications executive
What is our calling? It is the call to be with Jesus, the call to love and serve others, the call to make His Name known. Our work is therefore an outward extension of how we live out this call. So when it comes to deciding our choice of work, our starting point should always be about Him, not me.
Here are three questions to ask as you seek God in making work choices:
1. Who is at centre of your life?
More of Him, less of me. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
Both John the Baptist and Apostle Paul urged us to live a life that resembles Jesus’. This begins when we consciously commit to putting God at the centre of our lives, above everything else.
In turn, this will influence everything about us, including our work choices.
The Hebrew word avodah is the same word used for both work and worship.
The Jewish people in the Old Testament regarded work as a form of worship to God. We know this through the use of the Hebrew word avodah, which is the same word used for both work and worship. It comes from the root word avad, which is mentioned more than 200 times in the Old Testament.
If we see work as a form of worship, we will endeavour to do our best in whatever task we are doing, to bring our best to God and, in the process, make Him known.
We will also not disregard work no matter how menial they may seem. Instead, we will see all jobs and tasks as ways for God’s people to honour Him.
In our modern society, regarding our work as avodah often runs contrary to the world’s values. Every day at work, we will face noise that distract us and situations that test our faith.
That is why the gift of the Holy Spirit is crucial to help us live out a God-centred life.
2. What are you made to do?
We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). That means each of us is blessed with different abilities to do different things.
Each of us is blessed with different abilities to do different things.
Our abilities are also developed and honed through the education we received, the past choices we made and the life experiences we have gone through.
We can learn about our abilities by asking ourselves what we like to do and what we are good at doing. This allows us to narrow our work options to those that are a good fit for our abilities.
Besides answering these two questions on our own, there are other ways to help us learn more about our abilities. We can ask our trusted friends and people who know us well, or attempt profiling questionnaires specific to understanding our interests.
3. What is a problem you can solve for someone?
What do we hope to change in people, places or situations around us?
As the popular Hillsong hit goes: “Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am, for Your Kingdom’s cause.”
Instead of scrolling through pages and pages of jobs on portals to find something suitable, we should ask ourselves: What bothers us deeply? What do we hope to change in people, places or situations around us?
Is there an industry, job or role that allows us to make a difference or solve the problem that we are concerned about? Are our abilities the right tools to tackle the issue?
A lengthy process
It is definitely possible for us to be certain of our vocation, but it is a process of discovery that takes time.
Fulfilling our God-given call requires us to maintain a God-centred attitude throughout our whole lives.
We start from cultivating greater self awareness by actively exploring and testing our inclinations and abilities through projects and work, and receiving reinforcement and feedback from people around us on what we excel or struggle in.
This may take years, starting from our formative years and extending into our adult years. But as we patiently learn more about ourselves through the different stages of our lives, with God’s guidance and prodding, we will be able to see an increasingly clear and certain vocation for ourselves.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that fulfilling our God-given call is not based on a single decision. It requires us to maintain a God-centred attitude throughout our whole lives, regularly evaluating and reviewing the impact of our work.
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