Wednesday, 04 February 2015 06:31

What Do You Do For a Living?

Written by  Kim Hendrix
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Matthew 4:18-20:“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.  Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  And they left their nets at once and followed him.” (NLT)


When you’re asked what you do for a living, how do you respond?  Most of us probably answer with our profession...a doctor, teacher, mail carrier, waitress...the list goes on and on.  Have you ever thought of answering with, “I follow Jesus Christ for a living!”


In the past when I’ve read the story of Jesus calling for Peter and Andrew to stop fishing and follow him, the immediacy with which Peter and Andrew made their decision stood out to me more than anything else. No hesitation, no questions: “And they left their nets at once and followed him.”  Obviously it’s how we all hope to respond when we hear God calling us. 


Recently when I read this passage of scripture again, the simple line, “…for they fished for a living,” seemed to be in bold print.  You can imagine Peter and Andrew going through the motions of another hot day of casting their lines and hoping for a good catch so they could feed their families, or purchase a few necessary items, in other words, just pay the bills.  Suddenly a man they barely even know walks by and suggests leaving all they’ve ever known about “making a living,” and they say “yes,” sensing this man is more than a mere mortal and that he is offering a true living.  This time as I read this well known story in Matthew, I wrote in my Bible, ‘Follow Him for a True Living’, follow Jesus Christ for a great big, grace-filled, abundant life!  Does it mean you have to change your profession? No. It means you allow God to change you, and suddenly the way you pay the bills becomes much more.  Suddenly your eyes will open to how God is using you right where you are and how his plan is unfolding as long as you continue to follow him. Suddenly you are making a really good living.


Working in broadcast news for 26 years provided many exciting and stressful days of making a living.  I admit there were times I wondered if what I was doing--how I wrote or anchored a story-- really mattered.  Then you get the phone call from a mom who says her autistic child always calms down and seems really focused when she hears your voice.  Or you see the emotion and courage in the faces of a mom and her daughter talking about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, how this little girl is fighting her way through a debilitating illness, and it hits you how this interview and the tape they leave with could be a treasured keepsake.  I can tell similar stories of working as a Development Director at a private school, days of working for more funding, and instead spending a few hours with a grandmother who fills me up with her wisdom, sense of humor and encouragement.  And now working with media ministries at a church, receiving letters from shut-ins who call our televised and online church services their “life-line,” an irreplaceable blessing in their lives. 


Do you see what I’m seeing?  Think about what you do, I mean really think outside the box.  If you’re following Jesus Christ, you can’t help but have similar stories. 


We all hit times when it feels like we are simply paying the bills. When this happens throw yourself back into God’s word and tell him you are instantly “all-in!”  Tell him you want to follow him for a living!



John 10:10:“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”



My paternal grandfather had to be one of the most content business owners I’ve ever known.  He ran a country store in a little town in East Texas and he did it quite successfully.  His store was the only place in town where you could fill up your car, get your mail, buy a pair of converse tennis shoes, a pound of bacon, a bag of candy and a cold Dr. Pepper.  I’ll never forget helping him one day in the store, when I was about 10 years old, and a man came in and got two big bags of groceries.  My grandaddy had a billing system setup behind the counter, and when the man walked out saying, “Please put it on my tab,” I eagerly said I would write it down.  My granddaddy said, “No need, he’s having a hard time, let’s just let this one go.”  Back then that hit me as a really kind thing to do, but now I understand it was my granddaddy’s way of making a really good living!



Dear Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for giving us the chance to make an abundant living, a true living.  May we answer immediately when you call and may our eyes and hearts always be open to the work you’re doing everyday.  In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.






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