A question that often comes up in my mind and in conversations with others is, “What does God want me to do with my life?” Not so much in, “is what I’m doing wrong” sort of way but rather “am I making the most of my life?” I feel like our minds like to swing to opposite extremes when this question comes up.
On one side, we assume that God wants us to be the next Billy Graham or William Wilberforce, to become a well known hero of the faith, reaching millions with the Gospel and changing the entire world. But this answer leads us to a problem. Common sense tells us that very few people will ever find themselves having that kind of influence, no matter how sincere their intentions. Further, even if we are to become someone like that, how can we possibly make a game plan for how to ascend to such a position?
On the other hand, if we give up our dreams of becoming the next titan of the faith and we look at our lives as they are now, it can be really easy to become discouraged. A lot of things in life seem menial and mundane and prompt us to want to phone in our lives and just wait to be with Jesus. Can we find a better option than unrealistic expectations or borderline apathy? Thankfully, scripture gives us such an option. This option is to be faithful with what we have been given.
In Matthew Chapter 25, we see Jesus’ parable of the talents. Talents were the currency of the day, but the point of the parable is basically that while everyone is entrusted with different levels of things, we are all to be faithful and to do our best with what we have been given. It’s easy to think about this in terms of money, but I believe the concept applies to so much more. We are to do our best in our opportunities, tasks, and really every part of our lives.
Beyond this, we see in Colossians 3:23-24 that Paul extols Christians, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (ESV).
This is great news! Not only are we called to be faithful with what we are given, but everything we do is for Christ. This means that everything we do in life, no matter how small in our eyes, has worth and meaning to the Kingdom of God because we do all things for and with Christ.
These principles, to live faithfully with what has been given to us and to do everything for and with Christ, can be lived out anywhere under any circumstances.
A good example of this is found in Acts 8. The apostle Philip is told by an angel to go out into the middle of nowhere, a desert place. He runs into a foreigner who is trying to understand the Old Testament and the Spirit prompts Philip to go explain it to him. This conversation leads to the foreigner trusting Christ and becoming baptized. As soon as Philip is done baptizing the foreigner he is literally teleported away by the Spirit.
We don’t hear anything more about this foreigner. The text doesn’t say that he went on to start an organization that changed the world. It’s very unlikely that Philip ever met him again. But we do know that Philip’s conversation with the man changed his life and that this opportunity presented itself because Philip was faithful with the task that he had been given, even if it was initially to go out to the middle of nowhere.
To me, this answer is freeing. To live faithfully with what has been given to us and to do everything for and with Christ frees me from the pressure to become highly influential in order for my life to have meaning. To live faithfully with what has been given to us and to do everything for and with Christ also frees me from apathy.
I can be passionate and driven in all things, because all things are for Christ. Let’s ask God to show us how we can be faithful in the lives we have now. Whether it is do our best in our workplace, show care and kindness to our neighbors and families, or in whatever circumstances we find. And then trust that is enough, that God loves us, and that He has given value, purpose, and meaning to our lives no matter where we are on this journey.