Balance? or Passion?

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Lately I’ve been reflecting on the fact that there is never enough time to do all that I want to do. . . especially in ministry. For most of us, this work of ministry can be consuming, sometimes, seemingly "all consuming." What about work-life balance? It’s been said that we need to pursue a balanced life. What does that mean? Should we ensure that we spend as much time away from work (or ministry) as we do at work?

And as Reformed Christians, how do we define the boundary between work and ministry and non-work? Can this be done? Should it?

How did Christ handle this issue? One of my blog-mentors, Carey Nieuwhof, recently commented on this issue. He stated that you can’t achieve balance and be at peace without sacrificing potential. 

So stop trying. And instead, pursue passion. 

Christ did not try to achieve balance! He came to us/for us on a mission! His priorities were clear…pursue salvation for his people. Though it may seem like Christ achieved “balance” by: 

  • Going to quiet places to pray
  • Working in ministry with his friends and disciples
  • Enjoying the fellowship of others, eating and drinking with them

Another way to look at what Jesus did is to say he passionately pursued his goals and priorities. . . ALL OF THEM!

  • He was passionate about his relationship with the Father...so he made time for Him.
  • He was passionate about his ministry and mission….so he made time for people—healing many and teaching all. 
  • He was passionate about fellowship, so he made time for it and spent time with others.

As we think of passion, I also think of the movie that came out a few years ago, The Passion of the Christ.

The use of the word usually refers to Christ’s suffering before and on the cross…but I think we can see His passion throughout His life…as well as His death on the cross.

For example, in the story about the woman at the well, the Gospel narrative says, "Jesus had to go through Samaria…" That story has elements of every aspect of Jesus’ passionate embrace of his relationship with the Father, His passion for people, and His unwavering passion and commitment to his call and ministry.

As we continue to reflect on Good Friday and Easter, may we be people of passion for all that God calls us to be and do, and may our pursuit of that passion focus our hearts and minds in a way that honors God, allows the unimportant issues to fall away, and gives us rest!

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