While the idea of calling may seem intuitive to many, don’t believe everything you hear. In the last several decades the idea of calling, which is originally a Christian idea, has been hijacked by a self-improvement industry promoting a host of half-truths, misapplied scriptures and worldly self-help guru psychology. If you don’t take time to understand a solid biblical perspective, you might fall into believing these three myths.
Top 3 Myths
Myth #1: My Calling is My Job
We worry so much about what we are going to do for a living that we shrink down the value of who we are as people into a job, or a career. We adopt the cultural obsession with economic status, audience applause and career goals from our peers who don’t know God. Yet, if you think back to the story of creation, God found pleasure and fulfilled what he wanted to accomplish in seven days, not six. His day of rest was not because he was tired, but because there is more to life than work. God has a design for your life that includes more than your artistic projects. It includes the things you need for the care of your soul and your relationships.
Myth #2: My Calling is My Everything
Some people buy into the myth, “If I find my calling, I should sacrifice everything for that calling, and I will be happy because I am following my true calling.” This is the opposite myth of the first one. Here, the problem is not shrinking down your identity to fit a job. Here the problem is enlarging your idea of personal activation and mission to the point of swallowing the rest of your life, whole. Some people say this is more common among artists who are focused on their creativity and passion instead of more practical concerns, but a stock broker obsessed with making money has the same internal dysfunction as the artist obsessed with creating a new vision for theater, art, film, etc. This person isn’t making the mistake of quarantining their calling into 50, 60, or 80 hours. Instead, they are allowing a particular passion to eclipse their entire life. They lose any sense of balance, elevating personal accomplishment to the highest priority. There are plenty of examples of people who do this, but the trail of divorces, damaged relationships, and loneliness undermine the story of success they are living.
Myth #3: If I Find My Calling, It Makes Life Easier
This is a myth borrowed from the self-help gurus of our era. The assumption is that you are unhappy because you aren’t doing what really fits you best. While there is a bit of truth here, it overemphasizes the role of your personality, and under-emphasizes the impact of the fall on the rest of the world. It assumes the only thing that doesn’t work perfectly is your approach to life. The other problem is a faulty foundational understanding of what is means to follow Christ in your art and in your personal life. Your calling is not some sort of salvation from the struggles of life. Understanding your calling will give you clarity about your journey and give you pleasure in doing what God designed you to do, but God never promises an easy life. There will still be challenges in financing your film, renting a great studio, finding your audience or finding a true patron. Understanding your calling gives perspective and purpose, not a painless, easy life.
These three myths could lead you astray, but they don’t have to.
The Bible offers us something so much deeper, more robust, and more satisfying. Life is so much more than your job, your self-actualization, ease of life, or finding the perfect ‘fit’. Once you understand the whole picture of what your calling is and means, you embark on a deeper journey that can feed your soul, your heart, and your mind. God cares about all of you. He cares about your relationships, your desires, your fears, and also your particular job or career. However, he never intended for you to slice and dice up your heart, or your life, into those little pieces. God has a calling for you that is so much greater than any of these individual components. He longs for us to find purpose and meaning for our entire life, not just our pocketbook and our personal mission.
Our sense of calling needs to expand to include all that God has for us. So let’s begin to unfold the full depth of God’s calling together. See you next week as we begin to reveal God’s complete plan for you!
Copyright © 2019 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.