The complaint usually goes like this; “When you keep challenging us to give up our careers and secular work, you’re subtly implying that our work is not as valuable as gospel work and that makes us feel like second class citizens in the church. You should see that all good work is part of God’s good intention for the world. It helps people have food, housing, health, education. These are just as valuable as gospel work.”
When faced with this, you could defend the claim that gospel work is more valuable than secular work (which it is) – but I think this is falling into a trap.
The whole question/challenge carries with it an “identity misunderstanding”. Your identity is not defined by your career. It never was and never will be. Your identity is defined by God’s declaration about you at the cross. If you feel like a second class citizen when I attack your career as less valuable than gospel work… why?? Is your identity caught up in your career or life-decisions? Don’t let it be!
There are two things to discuss, 1) Your identity in Christ that is perfect and unalterable, 2) Your work that can be more or less valuable in light of God’s plans and purposes for the universe.
So… the mother who wakes at 3am again to look after her kids because God values families does good. The terminally-ill patient who lies in a hospital bed and prays for the people she knows and the staff who serve her, she does an enormous good. Both activities are much more valuable than testing the accounting software for a finance company who underwrites the insurance policies of other companies who do some aspect of manufacturing (like what I used to do).
So, you ARE valuable in Christ, and therefore, give up your ambitions and DO the most valuable thing with your life you reasonably can… which is as much gospel work as you can.