Same God, Different Call

I can recall the frustration I felt several years ago when I was helping out a single mom and I could not get others around me to join my cause. The woman recently had cancer, had major surgery, had little support from anyone, and had to take care of herself and her son. I felt led to give her some financial assistance for her rent one month, help with cleaning, stocking her fridge and freezer with meals, and helping her move. This wasn’t something I did for everyone; actually, it was the first time I had ever felt God ask me to connect with a complete stranger in this way.

As a result of my passion, I asked the people in my small group to help her out too. Some did, some did not. I couldn’t understand all the varying degrees of interest in the woman and her situation. Why was everyone not as passionately generous as I was?

woman phone

A Call to Generosity

Months later, a woman in my small group reached out about helping out a family she knew. She had all that same excitement, empathy, and compassion for this family that I had for the single mom. Yet, I had little interest in her cause. I could see her frustration that not everyone was jumping up from their seats to offer new furnishings for their home and money for groceries and diapers.

We weren't terrible, seflish, greedy people. I knew that my husband and I gave generously to other things, and that the other couples in our small group did as well. We were all answering the call to generosity... we just didn't feel called to give as generously to this specific need.

I learned through these two situations that we are all called—but not to all the same things.

A Call to Humility

When we think about it logically, it makes sense that God would not call every one of us to the same cause. Our passion, our time, and our resources need to be spread around. So He calls us to unique situations for unique purposes.

It’s good for us to take hold of the causes for which He calls us. The burden we feel deep in our hearts for someone or something is a gift from God to compel us into action. The issue comes when our pride creeps in.

Generosity doesn't always go hand-in-hand with humility. Even in giving and serving, we can selfishly believe that our cause is the most important cause. We get on our platforms and preach that our cause is the one that matters most. It’s good to be passionate. It’s not good for us to become prideful in our compassion.

To us, our cause is the one worth sacrificing our time and resources. Our cause is the one that fulfills God’s call to bless the poor and bind up the brokenhearted. That's how God wants us to feel about the purpose He has for us. Passion and compassion are a gift--but they must come with humility.

Being confident in the plan that God has for your life means accepting that your purpose is not my purpose, your cause is not my cause, and your vision is not my vision. When you pursue your purpose while I pursue mine, without feelings of envy or frustration, you are free to give fully to the unique calling God has for your life.

Instead of being sidetracked by what others are doing, or if our generosity is noticed, let's fix our eyes on God and the needs He places in front of each of us. We make a much greater impact in this broken world when we do that.

Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
— 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (MSG)