Finding Your Vocation
by Anita Peluso
Has anyone ever asked you “What is your vocation?” (Not your vacation to Hawaii, but your vocation.) A vocation is what you do that uses the gifts and talents God gives you. Within the church, it may describe your ministry.
When I enrolled in seminary, I was required to take several assessment tests to help me discover my gifts and determine my vocation, or my personal “calling.” Chasing after a vocation as revealed by an assessment test made me feel uneasy. Not everyone is called to be a Moses or a Paul. Not everyone’s gifts and talents are meant for full-time church work. Most of us are the unnamed faithful followers of the assembly. Over time, I discovered that developing a watchful eye for ways to live out the truths given in the Bible for all believers in all generations was my “calling”.
The Israelites were told to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deut 6:5)
Similarly, Paul tells us to:
“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life, […] and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:13)
What does it mean to love God, putting off your old self, and putting on your new self? Micah plainly tells the Israelites,
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
In the same way, Paul tells New Testament believers,
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Col 3:23)
What Vocation Looks Like for You and Me
Vocation then becomes living out our daily lives in a manner that glorifies God, represents His character, and encourages others. As a wife, I am to be kind and respectful to my husband – even in the midst of disagreements. Toward my neighbor, I am to act justly and truthfully, not with deception and disrespect. As a customer, I can show appreciation for the hard work the store employee does to provide a service.
The “good works prepared in advance” (Eph 2:10), often used to describe vocation, then become the fruit of these simple truths. At your job, working honestly and heartily is the “good work” of physically demonstrating God’s righteousness to others. In your home, being kind and respectful is the “good work” of showing God’s steadfast love to those whom you love. In a paid ministry job, being humble, fair, and perceptive to the needs of those whom you serve becomes the “good work” of displaying God’s character to them.
All of these actions are our living testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. This living testimony is our vocation – to be ambassadors for Christ. (2 Cor 5:20)
Where can you apply these biblical truths in your life today? Choose one biblical truth that you can bring to the Lord, asking him how you might apply it to a current situation or relationship in your life. The Lord will be faithful to show you how to be an ambassador for Him.
Anita recently graduated with an MA in Biblical Studies where her love of all things Old Testament took root. She lives in Western Washington with her software engineer husband and two furry cats. Together, they are renovating 2 ½ unkempt suburban acres while converting a Ford Transit van into a camper van. On the side, she moonlights as a freelance quilt designer. You can find her on Instagram here
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