We all understand the phrase, “making a living.” We say things like, “whatever you’ve got to do to make a living,” “that’s just what he does to make a living,” or “I’m just trying to make a living.” What we mean when we say that is “what I do for money is not really me or my passion.” “It’s just what I do to make money to pay the bills.” It’s 8 hours of paid work to finance the other 16. (And of course, “Everybody’s working for the weekend,” right?)
So, what’s the other side of that thinking? And where does God fit in here? To be clear, working any job to pay the bills to take care of your family is always admirable and certainly God honoring. But is it possible—is there a place—where God, our passion, and making a living can come together? As Christian men, where and how can we join our passion and our calling to our work?
In reality, there are sold-out Christian men that work a “secular” job, ministering on any given week to more people than some pastors, so we’re not talking about being in full-time ministry, but about merging work, passion, and impact. Walking out our passion through our work, while making an impact in the name of Christ. Here’s three points to consider.
1—Please know that if you are miserable with what you do and/or whom you work for, God cares deeply about that. Our emotional and mental state, our fulfillment, our satisfaction with life and calling, are all very important to Him. If that were not true, then what do we do with these verses from Jesus?
If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?” —Luke 11:11-13 MSG
So, as cliché or simplistic as this may sound, talk to God about what you do to “make a living,” tell him how you feel, what you’d like to do, and what you’d like for Him to do. Then start to trust the Father’s heart and look for where He is working and leading.
2—Is there a “talent” that you are hiding or undervaluing? By hiding, I mean not doing it at all, and by undervaluing, I mean not using to your full potential or allowing someone else to determine its worth that really doesn’t care or understand you.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of three men who were given a different number of talents (back then, money, yet it oddly translates well to today and your talent). If you haven’t read that passage in a while, check it out. If you’re hiding or undervaluing what God has given you, the first question is: Why? The second question is: What are you going to do about it? The God described in Luke 11 wants to help you strategize and maximize what He’s put in you. And it is up to you.
3—And now, for the “he that has ears to hear, let him hear”—is it time for you to transition from “making a living” to “living out your making?” Pursuing your passion? Putting your talents out there for the world to see and your bank balance in the hands of God? It is not for the faint of heart, but it’s also not just for the faith-filled superhero either. It’s for the man who realizes that he has one life and one calling and wants to stand before God one day and say, “Master, you have entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.” Then to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Doesn’t that sound a lot better than “Well, Lord, I was just trying to make a living”?