Using Our Words in Our Calling as Christians
Rob Humphreys is a member of our church and has written this article for your encouragement. He is married to Glenda and has four adult children.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a calling as a ‘profession’ or ‘trade’. As a retiree I don’t fall into either category. Am I just a non-taxpaying burden on society? That’s not what God’s Word says. I am reminded by the Lord of glory that I have a threefold calling from heaven itself:
- A High Calling (Philippians 3:14)
- A Holy Calling (2 Timothy 1:9)
- A Heavenly Calling (Hebrews 3:1)
All of us who name the name of Christ – whether staff, elders, or members share this high, holy, and heavenly calling. There is no great divide between the calling of our staff and the calling of the rest of us, for each one of us is invited by the Master to serve his purposes on a full-time, whole-of-life basis. That is not to diminish in any way the wonderful work of our staff team who are our “front line”. But what does it look like for a retiree such as myself to carry out this high, holy and heavenly calling? One simple way to look at this is by inspecting our use of words. Jesus is our mentor in this area. Let’s reflect on five ways he used his words:
- The Way He Spoke
When Jesus was interrogated by the High Priest following his arrest, he said he always spoke openly (John 18:20). He also told the High Priest that he had said nothing in secret (John 18:20; compare Isaiah 45:19). Even his condemnation of the Scribes and Pharisees was in front of the crowds and his disciples (Matthew 23).
- To Whom He Spoke
Jesus spoke to everyone: high and low, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, friend and foe. Shockingly, at the time, he even spoke to Samaritans who were hated by Jews.
- Where He Spoke
He spoke in the synagogues and in the temple (John 18:20). He also spoke in private houses, on mountains, by the sea, anywhere. If he told his disciples something privately, he told them to shout it from the rooftops (Matthew 10:27).
- When He Spoke
Jesus’ ministry was full-time. Matthew 14 records his withdrawing in a boat to an isolated place for time for himself, but the crowds followed him and his love for them constrained him to forget self and heal and feed them. As an aside, many moons ago Glenda and I resolved to be “interruptible” – you know what I mean.
- What He Spoke
Jesus spoke words of life – the inerrant, infallible Word of God for all people of all time.
The take home for me, and for all my fellow friends at BPCC, is to recognise that we have an incredibly high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and that we can exercise that calling daily in our words. In relation to our words, we are to be open and transparently honest to all and sundry at all times and in all places, not fearing the face of man but trusting in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6)