What God didn’t call you to – a repost

(This post was first published May 9, 2009.)

Lots of people are wondering what God is calling them to do. And that is a good question. But on the way to the answer, we fill in many answers. So let me suggest some of the things that God did not call you to.

You are not called to be me.
You are not called to be your mother.
You are not called to be your pastor.
You are not called to be happy all the time.
You are not called to be rich.
You are not called to be as organized as the neighbor on the right.
You are not called to be as disorganized as the neighbor on the left.
You are not called to be as ___ as your uncle dave.
You are not called to be your sister.
You are not called to be the guy in all the ads.
You are not called to be the perfect family.
You are not called to smile every moment.
You are not called to have every answer.
You are not called to say ‘yes’ to every request.
You are not called to work 24/7.
You are not called to read the Bible through every year.
You are not called to measure up.
You are not called to do it all.
You are not called to remember every detail.
You are not called to run their lives.
You are not called to do everything right the first time.
You are not called to be at the church every time the doors open.
(okay, maybe the custodian is, but other than that.)
You are not called to stop everything.
You are not called to save the world.
That was covered.
That’s why we’re called to follow Him.
A step at a time.
And that feeling of relief?
You are called to that.


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48 thoughts on “What God didn’t call you to – a repost

  1. Jan C Kidd-Dahn

    Holy Moly…I wasn’t sure that the list was ever going to get done! 🙂

    the best part…
    “That’s why we’re called to follow Him.
    A step at a time.
    And that feeling of relief?
    You are called to that.”

    Thank you for sharing it. 🙂


  2. Frank Reed

    Jon – Isn’t it interesting how we will try to put the whole world on our shoulders without being called to do so? We are called by the Good Shepherd to follow His voice and that is more than sufficient. Too much for me to even comprehend but I figure I’m not called to understand it all either, huh? Great job and thanks for following Him so I can get a little closer myself.


  3. Pingback: It is done « My Journey

  4. Jessica Northey

    Jon-sometimes religious posts make me uncomfortable…only because I enjoy a very personal relationship with my Creator but I really enjoyed what you wrote and you made me think! thanks so much for sharing!


    1. SollyM

      No, we are not called to hate but to love…. To love atheists the same as we love our fellow Christian siblings. We are called to reflect the love of God through us… {Can I get an Amen somebody?}


    2. theyoungqueen

      I don’t think you are called to hate anyone. I believe we should love everyone, and leave the judging up to God.


    3. Andrea

      You can hate a sin, but still love the sinner. My best friend is an atheist, and I love her no less than I would if she was a Christian.
      Atheism is only one of a number of sins that can possibly be committed by a human being. With that logic, you could also state that we’re called to hate people that have said a bad word or sinned in the most venial of ways.
      I’m a musician, and I was once asked by my teacher, “What’s better: going sharp, or going flat?” The answer was neither; you’re still out of tune.
      There is no “good sin” and “bad sin”. If there’s a person out there who’s really mean to you and HAPPENS to be an atheist, by all means, dislike them (I will never advise for someone to hate another).
      But that doesn’t mean all atheists are necessarily bad people. That would be like saying: I don’t like ducks, and ducks are animals, so therefore, I don’t like animals.
      My point: Atheists do not hate God because, in their perspective, there is nothing to hate. There’s some people that just haven’t been saved yet. So don’t do God’s judging for Him.


    4. Mike

      Hate Atheists?

      We all have freedom of choice. Nobody is forced or required to follow God’s calling to receive the free GIFT of His grace through His Son, Jesus.

      If some choose not to FREELY receive that gift of their own choice, but to follow a different path – albeit Islam, Buddhism, Paganism or Atheism – then we need to respect that choice, just as God does. Or are you better than God? He is not a dictator. He has given us Freedom of choice. And if we choose another path, He loves us none-the-less. His love is consistent, and as Jesus ministered among tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers, as well as the very Jews that would one day crucify Him, He loved them regardless. He even used those rejected by God’s chosen people – the Samaritans – to show what real real love is, and how God’s chosen had forgotten their calling – to love the Lord with all their heart and mind and soul and love each other as He loved them. He didn’t exclude atheists. In fact, if there was small print, He may have specified that we love them more so that they may come to see His love reflected through the people He called.

      So, you look inside yourself and decide if you have God’s love in you. Do you reflect the free grace of forgiveness you received to those that have not chosen God’s path to healing? If so, then freely give…

      Hate is only reserved for evil and evil deeds. By showing God’s love, those that commit evil deeds or choose other paths may be saved, by God’s grace.


    5. J. William Kimbler

      We are called to content for our faith, not hate because of our faith, but ready to give an answer for our hope.


  5. Teri Michelle

    Reblogged this on Teri Michelle Coan and commented:
    This is extremely comforting to read…God is calling me to simply be the best possible version of me. And what makes the biggest impact to me is that i’m absolutely not called to be perfect. And that’s extremely comforting.


  6. MLP

    How about what I am called? I am called His beloved…I am called to be the best representation of who He is for me….I am called to love as He loved…I am called to obey the Father as He obeyed the Father… but not in my own strength… but by surrendered obedience…as a response to His delight in me…I am called His child. And no one and nothing can ever take that away from me.


    1. gordonim

      You have brought tears to my eyes (in a good way) To follow him as best we can, to do our best and have faith that he will make up the difference. To love our family and friends and, this is the challenge, those who spitefully use us.


  7. Pingback: Your Calling « A Work in Progress

  8. Pingback: Your Calling « A Work in Progress

  9. Short Little Rebel

    Tried to ‘like’ the article, but WP wasn’t working correctly, I guess. Will try one more time with this comment.


  10. Matt

    I really do feel called to go thru the bible every year. I know I don’t have to but I want to… I podcast daily audio bible and listen to it every day,almost 4 yrs running… Love Gods Word… It is definitely living and active!


  11. Deb Wolf

    I just found you through StumbleUpon. This is a great reminder for those of us who try to be all things to all people rather than simple trust and obedience. Not perfection – but love. Thanks!


  12. Pingback: What God didn’t call you to do « unconsumedbysafety

  13. Hippiemom

    Whew!!!! Wears me out reading the list! Glad He called us just to follow Him so that all else falls into place according to His word….


  14. Men of One Accord

    I know about 12 other guys who I pray with, who would love to know what they are not called to do. Now if just one of us knew how to reblog it would show up on Men of One Accord. I guess I could use smoke signals if I still remember How! Great List and thank-you and AMEN!


  15. Judith Gotwald

    Interesting blog, Pastor Swanson. We—the remnants of the a congregation valued more for our property than our mission—took our “church” online in 2011 after we were locked out of our sanctuary. We are enjoying our cyberchurch and finding that our mission is by no means dead—even though we were declared closed and our property shuttered for three years now. We are reaching more people than ever. We still have a lot to learn about being a church with a mission but no pastor or property. Thanks for showing us a thing or two! (http://2x2virtualchurch.com) Judy


  16. Mandy Krueger

    “You are not called to save the world. That was covered.”
    What in the world are you talking about? Saved? Covered? What? WHAT?!?


    1. Sally

      Mandy, the saving of the world was covered by Jesus when he allowed himself to be the sacrifice of all sacrifices.
      Back then, God’s people had to perform rituals, such as sacrificing the purest and most perfect animal in their flock in order to be cleansed of their sin, and they had to do this every year (among other rituals and smaller sacrifices for other reasons).
      Jesus did this with his own perfect self – and it was for all time. We no longer have to perform a ceremony and destroy a piece of our livelihood to cleanse ourselves . . . we only have to accept the gift of what Jesus did. Only once, and we belong to Him forever. After that, we “children” of God ask for forgiveness when we mess up, and we try not to do it again (that’s repenting). Most of us fail miserably, but Jesus is faithful in his promise to save us, and that makes us thankful all over again. There is a saying among Christians: “Always perfecting – never perfected”.
      I hope this helps, but if you’re like me, the more I learn about my faith, the more questions I have! I by no means have all (or even most) of the answers, but you’re free to email me any time at wardhaven@aol.com (or anyone else who wants to correspond).


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