Dear church,

What is your calling?

We all have a calling. Sometimes we think only the pastors or the missionaries get “called” by God. But the apostle Paul wrote every Christians has a calling.

Do you know what it is? Our calling is to live out the gift of grace we have received from God. We’ve been called by grace. Our job is live out of that grace – in gratitude, yes, and also in holding to the truth of the gospel.

And so our calling isn’t something like an occupation. It is larger than that. Our calling infiltrates every aspect of our lives and drives us to live in a certain way. Paul laid it out pretty simply (even if it’s not always easy to live like this):

We are to live with “all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

This is a very interesting list. You might notice this list has everything to do with the church. The “one another” here is a reference to the members of the church to whom Paul was writing. Church members were to bear with one another in love. They were to be humble and gentle with each other – even in disagreements – and eager to maintain the unity of the church.

And so, in order to live out our calling in Christ – at a minimum – it seems we must live with an eye always on the unity and the building up of the church.

We live out our calling by seeking the good of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are patient with them, even when they say things we may not like or even when they hurt our feelings. We are humble when we enter into arguments over issues of church policy or direction. That is, we don’t go into those arguments thinking we have all the answers.

And we are eager to make sure the church family stays together – that even in our occasional disagreements, the unity of the church is the highest priority.

That’s an essential part of living out our calling as Christians.

Of course, we all know many people who try to stay only loosely affiliated to their local church. They don’t really invest their time or emotions. They don’t really commit their energy. If you were to ask them about their church home, they could tell you the name of a church. But when it comes down to matters of unity within the church, they can only shrug. They care … but not that much.

But our calling is to CARE about such things. It’s like a missionary who has a calling to serve an unreached people group somewhere on earth. That missionary is not going to shrug when an opportunity arises to share the gospel. That person is going to jump at that chance and never look back – because that’s the calling.

Our calling – again, at a minimum – is to the live out the grace of God in our lives by tending to the love and unity of his church. We must invest. We must commit. Are you living out your calling today?

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called …”

Chris

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