Over the last couple of years, I have been learning a lot about how to better blend the responsibilities of work and home. In addition to this, I have recently been learning of the need to blend the responsibilities of work and home to also include friendships and relationships. This is something new for me because I was always focused on either work or home. But a complete life is not just honoring God at work with my gifts and abilities or honoring God by the way I care for, love and provide for my family. God also calls me to serve the friendships and relationships I have with the gifts and abilities I possess. While this sounds good, this also sounds like more work to do when I already feel that I am operating near full capacity. I have developed two perspectives that help me embrace the opportunity to blend friendships and relationships into my work and home life. They are:
God and Others
I recently did an online Bible course where one speaker spoke about productivity. Although I learned many good things and several practical steps that I will apply in my own life, he said something that I will always remember,
“Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. Productivity calls you to direct your whole life at this great goal of bringing glory to God by doing good for others. This call involves using your gifts, the spiritual gifts you were given when the Lord saved you; it involves deploying your talents, those areas of natural strength; it involves managing your time, those 24 hours God gives you each day; it involves making use of your energy, the strength or vitality that ebbs and flows through the day and the week; and it even involves your enthusiasm, the passion, and interest you can bring to those works you love to do. God calls you to take all of that and to apply it carefully, faithfully, and consistently to the great goal of doing good to others.” – Tim Challies
I recognize that this may not be the most earth-shattering statement ever made, but it really helped me to see that everything I do, whether creating purity materials for men, speaking at a conference, praying with my wife or simply having a meal with a friend and listening to him share something deep and vulnerable, it’s all productive and honoring to God. It is learning that the blending of responsibilities at home, work, and in relationships is really about good stewarding of my gifts, talent, and abilities in a way that encourages and blesses others while at the same time pointing them to Christ and the Word of God.
I recently asked a friend how they find the emotional energy to handle all of the tasks that they face daily. They said that some responsibilities are draining, while others are life-giving. They learned that they needed to ensure that they were constantly being filled up so that they were able to joyfully and freely give of themselves. This is something that I never really reflected on before. Yes, I may find it draining to give of myself to work and home, and then feel at the limit of my capacity when needing to give to friendships and relationships. I have learned that I cannot run on empty for an extended period of time. As I fill myself up through times of rest, times of prayer and times of study, and seek the strength of God that sustains me each day, then I am better able to use my energy, gifts, and abilities for the benefit of others and to the glory of God.
I am learning to alter my perspective from only focusing on blending the responsibilities of work and home, to being faithful with stewarding the gifts God gave me so as to bring glory to Him, and for the benefit of others at work, at home and in the friendships and relationships that we all have. May that be the prayer of all of our hearts.
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