Five Decisions to True Financial Freedom: The Calling Decision
I love watching it snow. Growing up in Indiana, I had the opportunity to see a lot of snow. Whenever I think about snow it reminds me of the paper snowflakes that my children used to bring home from school. They were always so proud of their creativity and quick to ask, “Daddy, did you know that EVERY snowflake is different?!?”
In this week’s video (below), I reference Ephesians 4, where, in verse 1, Paul tells the Ephesians to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” God made you with a unique purpose and calling. He placed a unique combination of experiences, relationships, gifts, talents, and abilities inside of you and you alone. You are His snowflake.
Three years after I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I was asked to join a ministry (Leadership Dynamics International, a subsidiary of Cru. I was asked to give up the recognition and uniqueness I had obtained in the world’s eyes and contribute my gifts and talents in a ministry setting. As I asked the Lord whether He was calling me into ministry, He led me to Philippians 3 where I wrote in my Bible, “am I willing to give up recognition, friends, influence, and the relationships that I have in Indianapolis?” God challenged me with the surrender of my earthly reputation and with a calling to “consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8)
I urge you to read Ephesians 4 today. Note how Paul goes back and forth between emphasizing their uniqueness and their calling and then emphasizing their place in the Body of believers. We are not uniquely called in order to be renegades or self-made successes; we are uniquely called “so that the Body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:12)
The last part of Ephesians 4 turns to the practical issues that arise when a uniquely called person lives in a sinful world in relationship with other fallen people. Paul reminds the Church that a huge part of taking a calling into the Body of Christ and into a needy world is learning how to walk in and to speak in love. The working out of our calling always happens in the context of relationship, and relationship becomes the training ground for maturity.
Often, calling and finances intersect. Because vocation and income are very connected, we often find that our calling has a direct bearing on our financial lives. When we find contentment in our calling, finding contentment in our finances becomes a logical outgrowth.