Michael Thigpen had a successful job at a bank, rising through the ranks of the company to a management position. Yet he had originally planned to be a teacher or a pastor, and after finally graduating from seminary and struggling to find a position in either role, he became frustrated with his banking career.
Now a theology professor at Biola University, Thigpen realizes that his frustrations had to do with an inaccurate vision of vocation and the human person as redeemed by Christ.
“Why had I been so frustrated when an unplanned career was successful?” he now asks. “And why was my sense of identity so tied to the source of my income? …My occupational angst was rooted in a misunderstanding of my identity,” he says.
In a talk for the Oikonomia Network, Thigpen explains the importance of grasping precisely this, arguing that properly understanding our vocation begins with uniting our understanding of economic activity with the “grammar of creation.”
Thigpen reminds us of three distinct truths: (1) economic activity flows directly out of our identity, (2) economic activity is worship, and (3) God intended a flourishing society, not just flourishing individuals. (more…)