When one comes to faith in Christ and realizes the enormity of the gift they have been given of forgiveness of sins and eternal life, there is an internal desire to respond in thankfulness. We long to show our gratitude in what we would deem a ‘big way’ because we are so overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness for salvation! This is good and right. However, with the current pervasiveness of the ‘social justice’ movement within the visible church it is easy for Christians to feel as if they are less than; not enough. That their seemingly insignificant lives of ordinariness lack the depth and importance to make a difference for Christ or be in any way an offering of worship to Him. This is a lie.
I know that I have certainly felt that way, especially when I was newly born again. What added to that feeling was the cultural message that women are only respectable and worthy if they have careers outside the home. Being a young stay at home mom and homemaker, I felt about as ordinary and low achieving as one could feel. It is what I wanted to do, and I was happy in my position, but it was hard to ignore the societal messages and expectations. Fortunately, as I have grown more confident in Christ and learned more about how He deems our contributions and positions in life, I no longer am intimidated by a worldly, cultural expectation. I rejoice in the way the Lord has ordered my life. I am content.
I would like to point readers to the scriptures that helped me come to a biblical understanding about ordinariness and serving the Lord. In 1 Corinthians chapter seven, Paul is writing to the church at Corinth explaining about living out their calling. He writes “Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.” (v.20) That is pretty straightforward. God is sovereign. He has placed each believer exactly where He wants them to be. When He calls someone to believing faith, they do not immediately need to change everything about their lives (assuming it does not cause you to walk in sin). You can be an effective witness for Christ right where you are. It seems it would be especially effective as the people who have known you are certain to begin observing changes in you, and wonder what is going on. This presents you with opportunities to share how the Gospel has changed you. Isn’t that wonderful and encouraging? Not everyone is called to pack up and move to a third world country. God needs workers in every area of human life. Certain Christians are not more significant than others because they have a more visible or man-admired job or living situation. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has prepared in advance the good works that He has for his people to do. Some for this thing, others for that thing. All essential parts of one body. 1 Corinthians 12:14-20 tells us:
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
God wants us to remain where we are, as He has already prepared works for us to do, and each member is significant to the work of the body. That is comforting and encouraging, isn’t it?
Colossians 3:17 instructs “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” And verses 23, 24 add “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” In the last two verses, Paul was speaking specifically to believers who were slaves, in regard to how they were to work for their masters. But I believe it is applicable to every believers situation. These verses are extremely encouraging to believers! Do you have a job that you do not find all that inspiring? Is it work that most people would say is not important, or boring? Take heart believer. If you work as unto the Lord, your seemingly menial tasks are acts of worship! For the mom of young children, who feels like she works in circles doing tasks no one notices or appreciates, this is very good news. Work as unto the Lord! He is watching and He knows. You can show your gratitude for all He has done for you through your ordinary tasks. They can be acts of worship! I find these truths immensely reassuring, comforting and encouraging! I hope you do too. We serve an awesome God, who is worthy to be praised!
Soli Deo Gloria!