Your Job Title Really Doesn’t Matter
“Paul, a servant [slave] of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle.…” Romans 1:1
“James, a servant [slave] of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ….”James 1:1
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ….” 1st Peter 1:1
“Jude, a servant [slave] of Jesus Christ and brother of James.…” Jude 1:1
Benjamen, an author?
I was in the middle of making oatmeal for my amazing wife this morning. The small pan was boiling happily and the raisins were soaking up the coconut milk they were swimming in. Everything was going well. A little cinnamon. A little ground ginger. A pinch of salt. Wonderful. Then, out of nowhere a conversation that I had the day before exploded into my mind, like an excited kernel of popcorn in hot oil.
“So, is that what you do?” a man wearing a gray YMCA Staff t-shirt asked me, “You write?” he was a tall skinny man in his early 20s with a short beard that ran the length of his pale face.
“Yeah, I’m a writer,” I said, sounding more sure than I felt.
The words echoed in my head as I reached for the cardboard cylinder with the picture of a mildly amused Quaker printed on it.
“I’m a writer,” I said to myself as I dumped some oats into the pan.
“Huh?” my wife asked, she was busy slicing cherry tomatoes and throwing them into two Tupperware containers that were packed to the brim with kale and baby spinach.
“Nothing,” I said, “I was just thinking.”
“I know,” she smiled. She has gotten used to her husband’s constant mumbles and conversations with himself. This morning was not special in that regard.
“But I’m not a writer,” I thought. Then, another popcorn kernel burst in my mind.
This time it was the familiar passionate voice of Paul Washer:
“When I am on an airplane I love to do this. Men will sit down beside me and they will go, “What do you do?”
I go, “Oh, I’m a husband.”
They go, “Oh, what else do you do?”
“Oh, I’m a father.”
“What else do you do?”
“Well, if I have any time left over I preach a little.”
There it was. That’s why it bothered me, like a piece of arugula stuck between my teeth.
I’m not a writer.
I’m a son of God. I’m a servant of the Most High. Then, I’m a full-time husband who is driven to obey the command of God when He said that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). And then, if there is any time left over, I push words around a paper.I’m a son of God. I’m a servant of the Most High. Then, if I have any time left over, I’m a full-time husband who is driven to obey the command of God when He said that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church… Click To Tweet
There, that feels better.
Dear reader, when someone asks what you do, what is your response?
But Ben, you are talking crazy talk! This is the 21st century. People aren’t asking what I believe in, they are wanting to know what I do for a living.
Indeed, they are. So, does your job define you or does being a child of God define you? Don’t just say to yourself as you read this, “Oh, I get it. Now, I’ll start saying, ‘I’m a child of God,’ when people ask what I do. That’ll work.”So, does your job define you or does being a child of God define you? Click To Tweet
Unless you truly are motivated by love, in a way that bubbles over and makes you helpless to say anything other than, “I can’t believe that I’ve been set free and that I have a new life in Christ and that I’m free to be his slave!” then don’t say it. Don’t honor God with your lips if your heart is far from him (Isaiah 29:13&14I).
I turned to my wife. She was pouring homemade dressing from a cup onto the waiting greens. “I’m not a writer,” I said. She looked at me puzzled for a moment. “I’m a child of God. I’m a husband. And then, I might be a writer.”
“I know!” she said, with a smile.
Until next time, lose your life!