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Our faith and calling
- Jacob Ninan
God's calling for each one of us in the Body of Christ may be as varied as the different parts of the human body. If one is an eye, another is a foot with an entirely different set of functions, interests, burdens, goals, etc. Doesn't this explain why someone else who is also a good Christian does not share the same burden which we have for some particular task? It is unrealistic for us to expect that everyone should understand us or what we are trying to do for the Lord or that everyone else should contribute towards our cause!
Also, we must not be unrealistic and try to take on all the burdens the others are carrying. We must be clear about our own calling. Imagine, for example, if we were to donate to all the causes people present to us! Even if it is a matter of spending time on them or praying for them, surely we can't manage to get involved in everything without sacrificing our own calling. Perhaps when the speaker asks for support for the widows in Timbuktu, what the Lord wants us to do may be something about the widow across our street! It's all right if we can manage to do something about both. But if we can't, we don't have to feel guilty if we can't contribute towards the Timbuktu fund.
I am not making a rigid rule about this. Perhaps the Lord wants us to become interested in Timbuktu and that was why we were given the opportunity to hear about it. All I am saying is that we must recognise that the Lord has a special task for each one of us and that we must be realistic about our limitations.
It is good to be challenged by a speaker who talks about what needs to be done about the need in Timbuktu. If this should stir us to consider whether we have been neglecting our own calling, or whether we should consider seeking God to understand what He would have us to do, it has done us good. But we are not obligated to automatically support what the speaker is doing or feel guilty if we are unable to do that.
God tells us to imitate the faith we see in others (He.13:7). 'Faith' involves our trust and confidence in God in a general sense and also strength and boldness to do something particular for God. Faith as in the first part is something we all should have, without which we cannot be pleasing to God (He.11:6). But faith as in the second part varies from person to person. One may have faith to heal sickness, another to remain unmarried for the Lord's work, another to venture out to an unknown place as a missionary, and another to remain at home and bring up children for the Lord. It depends on our calling. We can't imitate this kind of faith. We can't insist that others should have the same faith, and we don't have to feel guilty because we don't have the faith that the others have.
All of us do have a special calling (1Co.12:5-7). We must exercise that. And it is possible that when we are faithful there, God may wish to expand our horizon (Mt.13:12).