Exams being turned in, the sound of packing in dorm rooms, and the thermometer reading 80 degrees could only mean one thing: summertime was finally here.
If you’re like me, this brought great joy. However, one summer, that joy was mixed with a sense of inferiority. You see, I didn’t do a summer project that year. Instead, I worked that summer. I had to; I had no other choice. And I fell for the trap, the lie, that I was less significant than my peers doing summer projects, that God couldn’t use me as much in a summer job.
You may be feeling the same way about your summer. I want to help you combat three lies that I believed going into that summer, three lies that you may be believing today.
Lie #1: This summer doesn’t really matter to God.
Don’t fall for Satan’s temptation to believe that if it’s not a summer project, God’s not in it. First of all, God never gets your summer plans wrong. Our God is a sovereign, all-knowing, omniscient God. He is a God who has knit every detail of your summer together. Secondly, he cares, loves, and desires your heart this summer. Whatever your hands do this summer, whatever vocation you work, do it all to make God look as great as he truly is (1 Cor. 10:31). Your work and your summer matter.
Furthermore, your summer matters because you matter to God. The cross says you matter. God, who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us declares that you matter (Rom. 8:32).
Lie #2: This summer can’t prepare me for mission like a summer project does.
Sure, a summer project equips, trains, and provides great opportunities to live out your faith, but shouldn’t our work do the same? Think about this: if you work full-time this summer, you will accumulate 480 hours around the same people. Talk about opportunities and mission preparation.
Full disclosure: I did a summer project the summer before I worked. I was more missional the summer I worked than on the summer project. For me, countless hours in the blazing, summer sun pulling weeds in cotton fields provided much to talk about. I also spent many hours in community over lunch at my favorite buffet in town or with my teammates playing adult league softball. The gospel was shared, questions were asked, the Lord moved, and lives were changed. It seemed paradoxical to me at the time, but I quickly learned that living missional wasn’t about a summer project; it was a lifestyle.
Whether you work one or 480 hours this summer, utilize every second for God’s glory. How will you use the time God has provided you with your co-workers this summer?
Lie #3: This summer is to make money and provide.
I get it; we all have to make money. But what if God desires more for your summer than the monotony of clocking-in, clocking-out, and payday Friday? As stated before, God doesn’t only want your job this summer; he wants your life. If we make this summer about money and resources, we will miss the joy in our work, and we will miss opportunities to share Christ. Don’t work to have; work to give. Unlocking our hearts to this takes our eyes off our wallets and places them on Christ. Make the money you earn speak of Christ as your ultimate Treasure. God, in his goodness, allows us to make money while glorifying him through our work. Let that sink in.
God desires for you to glorify him in your work this summer. He has you where he wants you. He is molding, teaching, and growing you this summer. He wants to extend, push, and challenge you like never before, and he is faithful to do this.
There is no place for the lie of inferiority or the grips of comparison. Your purpose is to live on mission wherever your feet land this summer, whether that be work, a ballfield, a cookout, or around the dinner table. Don’t believe the lies that you’re inferior. You matter, and your work matters to God.
Don’t waste your summer.
-Landon Jordan (Ministry Resident)