Driven or Called?


Working for approval will only burn you out.

Almost all of us guys get up every day and go to work. Work involves people, and we deal with all kinds of attitudes. Some we’d just rather not have to deal with at all if we didn’t have to. But others are a joy to be around. And I’m not just talking “Christian” vs. “non-Christian” here. I’m talking people in general. Some are peaceful, even joyful in their work life, while others are impetuous, ambitious, abrasive, aggressive, and sometimes downright scary.

Author Gordon MacDonald put it into a question:

Are you driven or called?

“Driven” described me the first 12 years of my career. I had all the childhood preparation for being driven… parents who rarely said “Well done” for anything; a dad who worked a lot and modeled being driven; and an environment where I was criticized and shamed when I didn’t measure up. I emerged laser-focused on being significant, no matter what. I was the epitome of driven.

So what does a driven guy look like?

  • He’s only gratified by accomplishment… he’s addicted to progress.
  • He’s almost always after expansion… more, more, more.
  • He has limited regard for integrity.
  • He is preoccupied with the symbols of success.
  • He is abnormally busy.
  • He is highly competitive.
  • He will often possess a “volcanic” force of anger.
  • He will often possess limited or underdeveloped people skills.

Sound familiar?

The answer for me, and ultimately for you as well, is to become a “called” person. Called men are those whose faith has become more than a fire insurance policy… or what they hear about in church on Sunday… or what they give lip service to when they say a “blessing” before they eat. Called men have decided to trust God with everything and to accept His will as their own. What does a called guy look like?

  • Called men know exactly who they are. Their identity is not synonymous with what they do.
  • Called men understand stewardship. They know that God owns it all. They hold their possessions, careers, natural and spiritual gifts, health… everything with a ‘loose grip’.
  • Called men possess an unwavering sense of purpose. They take “glorifying God” seriously by living with peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
  • Called men make and live in unswerving commitment to their wives, families and, yes, even their bosses, jobs, and companies.
  • Called men live their lives in a calm, peaceful, joyful way. There is a deep-seated peace that they’re grounded with. They are unshaken. They don’t vibrate with ambition. They work hard, do the best they can and trust God for the outcome… of everything.

Sophie Tucker once said, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better!”

I’m here to tell you that, “I’ve been driven and I’ve been called. Called is better!”

Question: Are you called or driven? How do you walk yourself back from the drivenness that’s so ready to take back over?

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