Missio on Calling (1 Corinthians 7:17-24): The Long View

It is the plague of the millennial generation to be unhappy where we are.  In all different circumstances, we believe there is something better.  We believe there is another job or situation that would be more fulfilling, or as Christians, we believe there is a different place where “God would rather us be”.  In many ways, it is good to have a drive for excellence and to want what is best, but sometimes the best place to be is exactly where you are.

There will be many situations in one’s life where it seems difficult to live out your faith. Every person, at one point or another, has been placed in a situation that seemed dark or uncertain.  As a student-athlete at the University of Georgia, I experienced this for myself. The culture was work-hard-play-hard, and that is what we did.  I went to college with great intentions of living out my faith and standing firm; but in many aspects, I fell short.  After an especially trying event my Junior year, I could see absolutely no light on my team.  It seemed as if no one person knew right from wrong and everyone was out to get me. Through hardship and alienation, I clung to God and my heart began to change.

 I was betrayed, hurt, and broken, and was questioning my placement.  Why did God let me go to this school? Why couldn’t I have been surrounded by more Christians?  I wanted to get out.  I retreated that year, but remained a part of my swim team.  I would go to practice, swim, and go home.  I wouldn’t talk to anyone for fear of being made fun of or worse, being completely ignored.  I was trying to finish my four years of eligibility without being hurt anymore than I already had been.  I had no idea why I was there.  I thought God might be teaching me something, but how could he use me as a Christian, when no one would even treat me as a human being?  

Wounds slowly healed, and friendships mended, and someone on the team asked me to help them start a Bible Study for the girls.  At this point, I had nothing to lose, since people already didn’t want to listen to me.  Things couldn’t get any worse, so I accepted.  That year, I saw more transformations by the Holy Spirit than most Christians see in a lifetime.  About 10 girls out of the 27 on my team came to Bible study on and off, and 3 girls came to know Jesus.  This year, my friend still leads the study, with the help of two of the girls who came to know Christ last year.  God has won-over two more souls since August.  We went from having one or two Christians on the team, to now having eight or nine and counting. Sometimes, God doesn’t want us to retreat and find a safe space where we have more Christian friends, He just wants us to live as Christians where we are.  

God taught me a lot that year, and through 1 Corinthians 7:17-20, we see what God expects of us living out our faith where we are.  This passage pertains more to marriage and dating relationships, but I believe it can inform friendships just as well.  If someone becomes a believer and all their friends are non-believers, they have a unique opportunity to minister to those friends that others don’t.  I hated the position I was in, because I felt like I had no one to turn to on my team that could understand what I was going through.  However, God gave me a beautiful platform to minister to those whom I would have been otherwise unable to reach.

Recently, I was hired as the new Public Affairs Assistant at the Federal Reserve.  My office environment is similar to my team.  However, I am not intimidated.  I do not want to retreat to a safe environment where I am surrounded by Christians, because that is not where God has called me right now.  He has called me to this position where I have a unique position to minister to those around me through relationships which some of my co-workers might never have had before.  I think the light of the gospel would shine brighter in our dark world if people went “into ministry” without actually going into ministry.  Be a Christian where God has called you, and be a light to those who otherwise may always be in the dark.

 

Over the next two weeks, five authors consider faith, work, and vocation in light of 1 Corinthians 7:12-24, in Missio on Calling:

  • On Wednesday, Andy Pitts considers his future in Status Isn’t Everything
  • On Friday, Logan Powell discuss The Art of Compromise
  • Next Monday, Stanton Coman compares the kingdom of God to a wedding reception in A Vision for A Wedding
  • Next Wednesday, Laura Davis muses on finding satisfaction in your current calling in On Contentment
  • Next Friday, Will Thompson concludes this series with the heart-breaking, yet profound Follow the Light

 

Lauren Harrington interned in Washington, DC and is a graduate of the 2015-2016 Capital Fellows Program

 

Image: freeimages/Gareth Weeks

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