This morning before lunch I had a powerful conversation with a young man in our office. He is 34 years old and is making a difference in his world. Let’s call him Caleb.
Like all young men in Singapore, Caleb invested two years in National Service before getting his university degree. He attended Singapore Managagement University and became strategically positioned to succeed in business. He told me of his successes – in influence, in status, and in prestige. He felt led of the Lord to rethink his priorities when he realized that this success still left him lonely at night. In fact, he sold his IT businesses and spent six months watching the Lord provide for his needs and praying for a purpose that was worth investing his creative energy in. As a Christian, he was led to OMF because of his business skills and became an IT team leader. He encrypts sensitive computers for colleagues heading into the field for the first time and helps missionaries weak in tech skills to maneuver our secure, comprehensive (some might say, complicated) tech environment.
But what work gives him life? Sharing the hope of eternal life with followers of Islam who don’t yet trust Christ for salvation. He tells me how he loves to tell the story of Jesus and His love to small groups of Muslims. He reminds them that in their holy book it proclaims that they should love Christians. He is energized when he tells people that Jesus is the only prophet who has promised heaven – no other religion can do that. Eternal salvation is only found in Jesus. And sharing God’s plan of salvation is ultimately a message of hope. He is influencing this unreached people group for God’s glory and wants to do more of this.
What should he do?
Respond to a call to this people group or remain faithful to his commitment to IT support?
Which is the work with greater influence for God’s glory?
How do we measure success? He is walking with his eyes on Jesus and is rejecting the world’s definition of success, but which path is more strategic? Which has more value in God’s sight?
But this is a false dilemma – it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Perhaps in this season he is called to do both. Maybe he is supposed to live with this tension of being faithful in one sphere while developing skills and influence in another. Or maybe he IS supposed to finish his season in IT support and then move into a new ministry. How can he know? For now, he doesn’t need to decide which is better. But he, like us, must be a person of fidelity and integrity, a servant of the Anointed One.
Rather than power brokers, think of us as servants of the Anointed One, the Liberating King, caretakers of the mysteries of God. Because we are in this particular role, it is especially important that we are people of fidelity and integrity. It makes little difference to me how you or any human court passes judgment on me. I even resist the temptation to compare myself to the ever-changing human standard. Although I am not aware of any flaw that might exclude me from this divine service, that’s not the reason I stand acquitted—the only supreme judge, our Lord, will examine me in the proper time.
1 Corinthians 4:1 – 4 (the Voice)
The world woos our young adults towards success as the world defines it. Our young adults seek meaningful ways to testify to the Lord’s love and to make a difference. Please pray for my friend Caleb and the young adults you know as they look to discern God’s call on their lives, even as they are learning to be responsible.