When I first discovered ranch sauce I used it on absolutely everything. I doused my salad with it, soaked my steak in it, and was almost tempted to drink it. When I find a good thing, I have a tendency to take it to the extreme!
It’s the same thing when it comes to faith. I remember a time in my early twenties when after a fresh encounter with God I spent hours daydreaming of possible overseas mission adventures instead of focussing on the work I was getting paid for. I eventually got the sack (something I’m not proud of), and lost the job God had given me.
The mistake I made was that I was more concerned with what I was doing, rather than how I was doing it. I thought the answer was to do something different, rather than continuing with what I was already doing, but doing it better.
Paul wrote to people in Corinth, who like me were more concerned with what they were doing, rather than how they were doing it. Some even thought that getting circumcised had more value than the way they actually lived:
‘Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you… For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments’ – 1 Corinthians 7:17,19,24 (NLT)
It was more important to Paul that people would obey God rather than follow some kind of ritual or make sudden changes to their employment situation. It’s not that the place we work or live won’t ever change in the future, but to Paul (and to God), the most important change is the one that takes place in the heart.
All lasting outward changes are only ever a reflection of what has already taken place in the heart. For me, rather than day dreaming I could have honoured my boss and made the money I needed to take myself on a mission trip while on leave. Instead of a change of circumstance, I needed a change of heart.
No matter where you find yourself today, make the most important change of all. As you do, you will find a contentment that is not based on what you do, but how you do it!