What does it mean to be a faithful and mature Christian? Answered by Jimmy Buehler
Hi, this is Jimmy, and on today’s episode of ask Theocast, I’m going to seek to answer the question, “What does it look like to live every day as a faithful and mature Christian?” It’s a really obvious and pertinent question because each of us lives and exists every single day, we wake up, we eat breakfast, we go to work, we eat lunch, we go to school, we do all of these things and have various responsibilities throughout the day. So, in light of that, what does it look like to do all of those things and live all of those ways as a faithful and mature Christian?
To help us answer that question, I want us to remember a very small petition in the Lord’s prayer, where Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” You might wonder, what does this have to do with living a faithful and mature Christian life?
I want to introduce you, if you’re not familiar, to what’s known as the doctrine of vocation, to help me explain it, let me point you to an illustration. Each and every day, when my family sits down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, my son, who’s five years old and loves farming, reminds us that what we’re eating was grown and raised by farmers. Whether it’s bacon, or vegetables, or wheat, or whatever it may be, he reminds us that what we’re eating is farm food. So if we’re having a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, a farmer had to raise that hog, had to then sell it, somebody then had to transport it and then process it, put it in a package. I then had to go to the grocery store, buy it, bring it home, and cook it. The same could be said of both the tomatoes and the lettuce. Now, what would happen if those farmers decided that they weren’t going to do it that day? They weren’t going to raise those things, they weren’t going to sell them, and the grocery stores decided to stop working or they decided to stop selling those things. Well, what would happen is that my bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich would simply just not be in existence.
The idea of vocation is that all of us have unique callings and different things that we have been handed in this life. Whether we are husbands or wives, whether we are sons or daughters, or whether we are brothers or sisters, whether we are doctors or musicians, or we are farmers, or whatever it is that we may be, we have unique callings upon our lives known as our vocations. I think often what we confuse is the idea of “spiritual disciplines” with spiritual faithfulness and maturity.
That isn’t to say that reading your Bible or praying daily or regularly is a bad thing. In fact, those can be very good things. But often I think what it means to be a faithful and mature Christian on a daily basis is you living out your vocation in a quiet, obscure, faithful way. If you’re a schoolteacher, that means you go to school and you love your students, you serve them, and you teach them very, very well. If you’re a medical doctor, you obviously do not cut corners and you do your job faithfully, and you offer proper and right and good diagnosis. If you are a dentist, a farmer, a principal, whatever it is that you may do for a living, you do your job well. Why? Well, because God often answers that petition “Give us this day our daily bread” through fellow sinners.
So obviously we need farmers. We need doctors. We need musicians. We need actors. We need all of these different vocations for our lives to just exist. So let me just try to encourage you here, that often to live a faithful and mature Christian life means that you do your vocation, you do your job, you live out your calling- even if that means disciplining your kid for the nineteen thousandth time. You do it for the glory of God because often that means you’re also doing it for the good of others.
A lot of times I think faithfulness and maturity means that we live our quiet lives, and we attend worship, and we hear the word preached to us, and we participate in the body and the life of the church, and then we also live out our various roles and vocations in our daily life. We do so in a way that glorifies God because we do them well. We realize that everything we do, whether we eat or drink, we do to the glory of God. But we also recognize that when we do it that way- where we recognize that being mature and being faithful in the Christian life often means just living out our vocation- we do it because it exists for the good of others.
So remember, when you do your job, God is answering someone else’s prayer of “Give us this day our daily bread.” I hope that this is helpful for you, this idea of vocation- that as we live out our vocation, God uses us sinners to meet the needs of other sinners.
I invite you to check out our website, theocast.org, where you can find more resources like this. Thanks for watching and listening.