“‘The priesthood of all believers’ did not make everyone into church workers; rather it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling,” writes Gene Edward Veith Jr. (God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life).
Whether you’re a high school student considering post-graduation options, a stay-at-home mom, or an established professional, it is important to understand vocation from a biblical perspective. Below are five different books to help you live with biblical purpose and intentionality.
Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose? How does God’s calling for my life shape my understanding of success, my dreams for the future, and the vocational path I take?” According to Os Guinness, God does have a specific calling for each of our lives, and his book – The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life – is for anyone who longs to live with purpose and intentionality. This book, along with its accompanying workbook, is a great resource for both personal and group studies.
We’ve heard the phrase, “do all things for the glory of God,” but what does that slogan actually mean? In God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, Gene Edward Veith Jr. unpacks the following questions: “what does it mean to be a Christian businessperson or a Christian artist or a Christian lawyer, scientist, construction worker or whatever? How can I know what I am supposed to do with my life? What does it mean to raise a Christian family? And what if I don’t have kids?” Working through these questions, Veith helps us develop a biblical understanding of work, as well as “the meaning in our vocations, the force behind our ethics, and the transformative presence of God in our everyday, ordinary lives.”
Cotton Mather offers a Christian perspective on our “calling” as believers, in his work, A Christian at his calling. Two brief discourses. One directing a Christian in his general calling; another directing him in his personal calling. Writing in a time of religious and philosophical tension, this puritan theologian and intellectual continues to give us insight centuries later.
C. S. Lewis said, “Every age has its own outlook. . . We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books” (Introduction to On the Incarnation, Athanasius). Therefore, we recommend William C. Placher’s Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation. This anthology features works from some of Christendom’s greatest writers, with helpful introductions by Placher. Whatever life-decision you’re facing, take Lewis’ advise and savor the wisdom of the past.
In his book, Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession, Michael P. Schutt affirms that Christians “belong in the legal profession and should regard it as a sacred calling.” As he unpacks the foundational principles of law, Schutt gives practical insight on how to preserve personal integrity while serving in this field. Whether or not you are in the legal profession, this book offers hope and perspective to Christians who want to understand the biblical principles of vocation.