“You are a…priesthood.” 1Pe 2:9 NIV
In his book Habits of the Heart, sociologist Robert N. Bellah describes three attitudes people have toward their work. The first group treats it as a job. When you do this, you see it strictly as a way to make money and pay the bills. Like the bumper sticker says, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” But if your main focus is on what you receive from your work, you’ll most likely come to resent it. The second group approaches work as a career. Here your motivation will be higher, but your focus is on advancement and prestige. That means, however, when your career isn’t going well it can feel like your self-worth is on the line. The third group sees their job as their calling. Now, logically speaking, if there’s a “calling” there must be someone making the call, right? That someone is God. You’re not the “caller,” you’re the “call-ee,” and any work that has meaning, that can be a blessing to people, and fulfills His purposes, is a calling. A doctor or pastor might get sucked into treating work solely as a means of making a good income, therefore they see it as just a job. On the other hand, a garbage collector may view what he does—making the world a cleaner place—as a calling. We’re not downgrading the importance of those who stand in pulpits and preach; we’re upgrading the importance of those who serve God forty hours a week in other jobs. Bottom line: when the job’s done well, both will hear the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:23).
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