Do you ever feel like you’re somehow lower, or serving God less, simply because you aren’t in a third-world country, or you haven’t started a 501(c)3, or you aren’t in a band changing the world with your music?
Do you ever get discouraged with your daily little job, and you look over and see someone in the mission field getting all the glory, and somehow start feeling unspiritual for simply putting in your 9 to 5 work day?
You start thinking God must get more glory out of the missionary’s (or the charity worker’s, or the band leader’s) life, and you wonder if it’s worth it to just keep plodding away at your daily grind.
You want to change the world, but the sink just keeps piling high with dishes. You overhear some adult talking about this super-mature Christian kid who is feeding orphans on the streets of India, but no one brags on you for feeding breakfast to your little sister. In the news, you hear of a teenager raising money to build a school in Africa, but no one congratulates you for building houses with the construction crew you’re on.
And if you’re like me, you start to equate the praise of men with the approval of God.
A Different Perspective
If people are praising them and not me, that must mean what they’re doing is glorifying God, and what I’m doing doesn’t mean much to him.
Ever felt that way?
Me too. Maybe that’s why Paul had to remind us,
“…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…”(1 Thessalonians 4:11)
I often believe that serving God means doing big things that get people talking, but Paul says,
“…lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:2-3)
When Jesus healed the demon-possessed man, he was willing to follow him anywhere, but Jesus sent him away saying,
“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8:39)
Small Callings = True Service
We’re all called to serve God, but to start a big wondrous work is not the only way to fulfill this calling, or even the primary way. Service is not just doing relief work, flying to other countries, feeding orphans, volunteering at the soup kitchen, or preaching the gospel to a crowd. True service begins behind closed doors. It’s tried and proven at home and work, in the nitty-gritty of our everyday lives.
And it’s seen by a God who judges the thoughts and intents of our hearts.
You may never be in the news. You may never be named most distinguished young person. You may never be in a band, or serve in a third-world country. You may never even land more than 100 friends on Facebook.
And that’s okay.
It’s enough to simply follow Christ and his will for your life. In truth, your life can bring just as much–maybe even more–glory to God as that missionary in a third-world country, even though you may never do anything that lands you on Fox News (or even in your local newspaper).
You serve a God who has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things to confound the mighty, and the things which are despised to bring to nothing things that are, in order that you would glory in him.