What Does Calling Mean If You Hate Your Job?

The following is a great podcast by William Messenger. I found it at an incredible website: http://www.theologyofwork.org

~ I got interested in this issue because so many people, Christians included, talk about pursuing your calling in life or about finding a dream job.  My issue with this always has been: What if there are only so many jobs out there or if you just have to put bread on the table to survive?  Like can you tell the kid living in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, “Yeah. Go for it. You got to pursue your dream job. Fetching water for your family is just not for you. Its not your calling in life.”  … If I am doing what I do only because it puts bread on the table, then am I failing at pursuing my calling? (This issue was a huge problem I had with Os Guinness’ book, The Call. Maybe I misunderstood him but I felt that he just simply failed to address the issue.)

~ Anyway here are some jottings from the podcast:

Ways that God guides people to work. 

1. Gifts and skills
2. Paying attention to the needs of the world.
3. Deepest desires

“In God’s eyes, the way you do your work is as important as what your work is.”

“What I did was pump gas and clean bathrooms. And I have to say – even now I am proud of the way I can wash a windshield. You know when I go to the gas station, I always wash – I always wash the windshields of my car,  you know just because – I can do it right! You know I mean if they have paper towels. It takes paper towels to do it really right.”

~ I totally know what he means here as I used to work at a gas-station my first year of college!

So if you want to know what calling means if you hate your job, it could mean one of two things:

1. God’s guidance could either help you find a new job,
2. It could help you do your current job more meaningfully.  (Find a way to do your job more meaningfully.)

Three other practical ways you can fulfill God’s calling in your job:
1. Take pride in supporting yourself and your family – even if it is not paid. (2 Thess. 3:10).  (~ The most important thing God is calling me to is to earn a living. Its ok to get a job primarily to earn a living.)
2. Be generous to others on the job (and elsewhere) (Eph. 4:28). (Affirmation, thankfulness, etc. are ways to be generous.)
– Praise will confuse your enemy…
3. Work so that other people in your workplace will respect the way you live (1 Thess. 4:11).

“If your job feels like an enemy, try blessing your job instead of cursing it. Try praying for your job instead of … ” (Thinking of your job as an enemy.) Note also that he is not talking about abusive jobs.

~ Context: Love thy enemy verse.