Your Job IS Your Assignment

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
— 1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV

You don't have to be pastor and preacher to have a "call" from God. Your job is your assignment from God. This is what Paul says.

He wants you to know that God's love for you is so complete, his providential care so all-encompassing that it extends to the place you call your "9-to-5."

Your job is your assignment.

Do you doubt it? Consider how Paul uses the word, "assign" in the New Testament:

  • God assigns a measure of faith for spiritual gifts:
    "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." Romans 12:3 ESV

  • God assigns (measures out) a sphere of kingdom influence.
    Speaking of his role as an apostle, Paul writes: "But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you." 2 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

  • God also assigns a job that we perform for the common good:
    “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned” 1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV

This teaching is a game changer -- but it is not a new teaching. John Calvin, writing in the 16th century, said this about one's job as his or her assignment from God.

Each individual has his own sort of living assigned to him as a sort of sentry post.
— John Calvin

If you are follower of Jesus, God has "called" you to himself (Romans 8:28-30). He has also called you to your work. Your job is your assignment from God. William Perkins, another 16th century theological sage, writes:

A vocation or calling is a certain kind of life, ordained and imposed on man by God for the common good....In a word, that particular and honest manner of [life], whereunto every man is called and set apart, that is (I say) his calling.

What are the implications of this for you today? Let me suggest four:

  1. Say "Thank you!"
    When was the last time you thanked God for your job? The God who makes no mistakes determined your job is good for you. Saying "Thanks" is recognizing that He is both good and in control--even of your job.

  2. Refer to your work as your calling--because it is.
    A friend who leads a global technology company refers to his "calling as an entrepreneur." He's spot on.

  3. Leverage your days at work.
    NT scholar William Barclay said, "The first rule of Christianity is 'Be a Christian where you are.'" Are you a student? "Be a Christian where you are." Are you a homemaker? "Be a Christian where you are." Are you a teacher? "Be a Christian where you are." Are you turning million-dollar deals? Be a Christian where you are. How? Model what it means to be a follower of Christ -- love people, serve well, work hard, be kind .... Do it to honor Christ and do it without a lot of fanfare.

  4. Let go of jealousy.
    Perkins says, "Every man must judge that particular calling, in which God hath placed him, to be the best of all callings for him....When we begin to dislike the wise disposition of God, and to think other men's calling better for us than our own, then follows confusion and disorder in every society. God has you where he wants you. Be glad for that.

When I was a kid, Country music artist Johnny Paycheck hit it big with his song, "Take This Job And Shove It." God has a better plan -- take this job and love it. You can when you see your job as your assignment from Him!

Enjoy the assignment today!