1. Know three reasons why calling is vulnerable to envy. (Chapter 15)
Envy strikes at the place where our giftedness and our deepest desires are intertwined with our sense of calling. To understand ourselves, we need to know not only our gifts but also the deepest desires we long to fulfill. Our desires, needless to say, are not simply to fulfill God’s call because for every similar food and conscious desire we have other desires less conscious and often much less worthy.
Envy corrupts calling be introducing the element of competition. Like pride, envy by its very nature is comparative and competitive. Or more precisely, pride is competitive and envy is the result of pride.
Envy attacks calling especially because calling goes back directly to God and envy is essentially profane. Fairlie explained, “Envy cannot bear to think that mere accident or fortune – or some other unknowable power, fate, or destiny, or perhaps even God – has conferred a good on some else…. This is what is profane in Envy. It will not embrace what is fate-given, chance-given, or God-given.” If someone else’s success that belittles me is due to that person’s calling, then finally my grudge is not simply against the other person but against God.
2. Understand the distinction between people being responsible for their actions and responsible to someone. (Chapter 11)
3. Give Guinness’ definition of calling. (Need to know word for word)
Calling is the truth that God calls us to Himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to His summons and service.
4. Describe how service to Jesus can compete with devotion to Him. (Chapter 5).
“Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ.” “The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him….The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him.” “Be absolutely His.” –Oswald Chambers. Do we enjoy our work, love our work, virtually worship our work so that our devotion to Jesus is off-center? Do we put our emphasis on service, or usefulness, or being productive in working for God-at his expense? Do we strive to prove our own significance? We are not called first to special work but to God. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no one and nothing above God himself.
5. List three reasons why foolbearing is vital to calling. (Chapter 24)
Foolbearers (or Fools For Christ) are those who are prepared to be seen and treated as fools for Christ’s sake.
1. Foolbearing is essential to calling because it is the true way to count the cost of identifying with Jesus. It is the price of obeying his call, renouncing self, and taking up the cross to follow Him.
2. Foolbearing is essential to calling because it positions us unmistakably before the world as a counterculture, antithetical to the world’s very being. The church has always maintained a necessary tension between a world-affirming stance and a world-denying stance.
3. Foolbearing is essential to calling because it is Christ’s way of responding to injury. Nothing in the Gospels is more revolutionary than Jesus’ call to respond to injury in a new way. (“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”)
6. Know and understand the four perspectives of seekers. (Chapter 2)
The Search is Everything, Discovery Matters Little “The search is its own reward” or “Better to travel hopefully than to arrive.” An “open mind” can be an “empty head” and “tolerance” can be indistinguishable from believing nothing.
The Desire is Wrong The ancient South Asian view that desire itself is the problem. This view perceives desire not as a good thing that can go wrong but as essentially evil. The solution, therefore, is not to fulfill