Romans 12:1–2 (NIV)
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Our vocation or call to a holy life is the same as the call to be a doctor. Surprisingly, many of us think of this as separate callings. Our struggles to be either a Christian first and doctor second or vice versa does not make sense if we understand it as the same calling. We are called to holy living which in our case involves functioning as a medical doctor. Holy living is a life of worship. The Hebrew word for worship also means work. The biblical understanding of work is that work is worship. Thus serving as a doctor is living a holy life of worship. This is what Paul meant when he asked us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. A holy life of work/worship involves sacrifices. The long and sleepless night calls, difficult and stressful clinic problems, and giving up a normal lifestyle are expected sacrifices due to the nature of our work as doctors. However, these sacrifices are also acceptable to God as offerings. Thus the sacrifices we make to do our work contributes to our living a holy life.
These sacrifices by itself are meaningless unless it is accompanied by ‘be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ as Paul termed it. This renewal of our minds is the development of a new mindset that sees our whole life (which includes our work and sacrifices) as offering to the Lord and being involved with him as agents of his for the expansion of the Kingdom of God which is his perfect will. As doctors, we are as much involved in Kingdom work as pastors or missionaries. It is helpful to discern our own life story as doctors as part of the greater meta-narrative of the Christian Story. We are who we are for a reason. And that reason is to live a holy life.
Lord, help us to be worthy of our calling to live a holy life.