Did you ever have to take one of those career aptitude tests in school? The point of these tests is to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses so they can begin planning what electives to take in high school and decide what to focus on in order to move more directly toward a career that suits their abilities. I believe these tests have benefit, but they can tend to help students emphasize the subjects they already excel in, while de-emphasizing the ones they don’t. We all tend to do this, whether we’ve taken an aptitude test or not. We give concentrated attention to flexing the area of the brain that will help us get what we want in life: a certain job, well-educated kids, a well-developed hobby, more money, etc. But these things may or may not consist of the study of language.
Listen, I get the reality that I use math everyday and I make scientific assessments on a regular basis even though I’m a pastor, but these subjects are not as important as language is for the Christian. I would say that even if I had a career in one of those fields, because we are all proclaimers of Christ no matter what our aptitudes are. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). So, before you’re a police officer, you’re a proclaimer of Christ and before you’re an architect, you’re a proclaimer of Christ and before you’re a wife and mother, you’re a proclaimer of Christ. I don’t mean this to belittle anyone’s career choice or to make you feel like you’re not pleasing God with how you spend a big chunk of your week. I only say this so that you will seek to be a better proclaimer of Christ while you’re at work or raising your children or taking that 15-hour class load. No matter what your career aptitude is, spend more time studying language to be a better proclaimer of Christ. Study how to describe the indescribable God using picturesque adjectives, practice sharing the Gospel by stopping and explaining each of the Christian-ese words or phrases you use, study the art of asking open-ended questions that draw out a person’s heart. To help you become a better proclaimer of Christ, here’s a good place to start: practice sharing the Gospel like you’re sharing it with a child. This will force you to cut out superfluous word usage, be more creative and illustrative, and generally, be more excited about what you’re saying. I think this will help keep us from getting lazy in our proclamation of Jesus and push us beyond just being adequate in this area of the Christian life.