Loving others does not mean that we give people what they want when they want it; it is following the Spirit’s leading in everything we do and say (1 Corinthians 10:31-33). Reaching a balance in the area of ministry is both basic and simple, when we submit to God’s Spirit.
If God does not give us His perfect peace to comply with someone’s request or a need that we see in their life, then we do not get involved, except to pray for them. God teaches us to develop healthy boundaries based on the Holy Spirit’s direction.
This is crucial for creating a safe place – a home base – for the authentic person whom God created us to be, as we follow His will through each moment of our day. We are the result of all of the nature and nurture that God provided for us in our lifetime.
He intended that we have our exact environment, trauma, blessings, family, and genes in order for us to become the person He needs us to be. This way He can use us to help others with our unique skills and talents.
Many of the ministry needs that we try to respond to may appear Biblical on the surface. The issue is legitimate and the person is in real need. However, this does not mean that we indiscriminately help everyone who has a need. God will direct us by His Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit does not direct us to get involved, and we do so anyway, this can have an oppressive effect on us and those we help, because it becomes a “works” brand of Christianity. Then, God orchestrates new circumstances to accomplish His purpose.
Eventually, ministry can feel like slavery and bondage, and may even cause us to grow more and more resentful and angry in our soul. We can learn balance from Jesus. He walked among the multitude of sick people beside the pool of Bethesda. They all needed His help, but God’s Spirit directed Him to heal only one of them (John 5:1-19).
Father God, teach us that if we do not follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit, we run the risk of getting worn out and of distancing our self from You, which will cause us to lose our spiritual anchor. Obeying Your Spirit keeps out unwanted intruders of doubt, insecurity, fear and obligation, and provides a safe place where we can grow and develop as Your saint and servant.
Your plan for our development involves a building up of our self in a grace-filled, restorative experience of Christ in us, which is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We need to allow others to learn to trust You too. Show us how we can live less like Martha – who frantically rushed around serving others, and more like Mary who allowed herself to sit at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38-42).
Thought for the Day:
Allowing God to build up our feelings of self-worth and to help us to develop secure boundaries is a spiritual priority as He teaches us to say “No,” which is more important to our spiritual growth than saying “Yes” to yet another “spiritual” activity; we do not always need to have a clearly articulated or spiritual-sounding reason for saying, “No.” If God is not leading you to say, “Yes,” then by all means, please say, “No.”