3 Ways to Discover Your Life's Calling (It's NOT What You Think)

We all enter this life with questions we don’t have answers for. Happy is the man who can answer life’s three most profound questions:

  • Who am I?

  • Why am I here?

  • What am I going to do about it?

Often, however, we confuse our calling with more tangible items that should be high on our list of values but are not our actual calling. Each, I believe, is biblical mandate but fall short of one’s calling. Each will change at some point over time.

Not A Calling

Your career is not your calling. It is your source of income. Careers change. Callings do not.

Your cares are not your calling. Your wife and children are not your calling. They are your biblical mandate as a man. Plus, the time commitment to your children changes based on their age. Unlike a calling, it is not a constant. It too shifts and adjusts.

Your causes, acts of service, ministry, or giving, are not your calling. They too shift and change and adjust many times over a lifetime. Your calling is BIGGER than what you are doing now.

What is Your Why?

Simply put, your calling is your compelling. Your calling is not about what you do but why you are doing it.

The Apostle Paul said it best, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:16)

Do not be mistaken. Preaching was not Paul’s compulsion. He was compelled to do something way beyond his preaching. You and I, and any non-Jewish men, are reading this because of Paul’s compulsion, calling, or why.  

Romans 1:5 reveals Paul’s calling: “Through (Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.”

He confesses his calling again in Galatians 2:8: “For He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles.”

Questions to Determine Your Calling

  1. What’s your why? What’s your compelling? Why do you do what you do?

  2. Why were you created and placed in the geographic location you currently reside? Why did God create and place you here during this time in history?

  3. What do those who you are closest to say?

Three Ways to Discover Your Calling

  1. Eulogize yourself. That’s right, in 1,000 words, write the eulogy for your memorial service. How do you want to be remembered? I did this exercise when I was thirty and it changed my life.

  2. What is your heart’s desire? Besides accumulating temporary things that do not fulfill, what are you most passionate about? What wrecks you? What breaks your heart? What frustrates you and sets you off? These point to your passion.

  3. Evaluate your history. If hindsight is 20/20, can you imagine the clarity you will have when you use your history to chart the course of your future? Look at your life. When did you feel most alive? What stories do you often share and why? What past events make you emotional with joy? What vivid memories do you wish to recreate?


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