At The High Calling, Marcus Goodyear reviews Called, the new book by Fuller Seminary president Mark Labberton. Your work, he proposes, is not as important as you want it to be (and that’s good):
This little book calls the entire faith and work movement to task, reminding Christians to focus on the First Thing. My career, my success, and my productivity are not elements of my primary calling. A Christian’s calling is not a personal one, but a shared calling with other Christians to something very simple and straightforward: love God and love your neighbor.
This is an important counter-cultural message for us today. Our world is increasingly personalized. Email newsletters often include our first names. Facebook and Twitter deliver personalized newsfeeds. Netflix rates movies based on our personal viewing habits. Remarketing campaigns track our online behavior and follows us individually with highly targeted advertisements. Amazon recommends products based on our personal preferences and purchase histories. Even the medical community is moving toward personalized medicine, tailored to an individual’s unique genetic code.
Let us not make the same mistake in our faith. Let us not seek personalized theology, tailored to our individual convictions. Let us not seek individualized ecclesiology, tailored to our personal taste. The calling we share is more important than the manifestation of that general calling in any specific context. In short, your calling to Christ must be the First Thing. Everything else in life must serve that one calling.