Find God's Purpose without Getting Burned out.

by Christine Sine

art by Emmanuel Garibay

Today’s post is the third in a series on helping us to prioritize our lives. I chose the photo above by Phillipino artist Emmanuel Garibay to represent this post because it makes me think of someone who has no focus or sense of purpose.

In my post two days ago I commented: God doesn’t intend us to live overburdened, stressed out lives yet so many Christians I know commit themselves to far more than they can possibly handle and as a consequence many end up burning out. Some reject their faith or walk away from their faith communities because they cannot cope with these extra pressures on their lives.

So how do we avoid this? Looking at the life of Jesus I notice several characteristics that we could well adopt and I strongly encourage all of us to spend time as I am currently doing, reflecting on scripture and our sense of purpose in order to be more effective followers of Christ.

Jesus had a clear, and very precise sense of what God had called him to do. – Lk 4:17-19 – Jesus came announcing the Kingdom of God – All of Jesus actions demonstrated to his disciples & followers what God’s eternal shalom Kingdom was meant to look like. As a result of that focus He knew exactly how to allocate His time & resources, He know when to say yes and he knew when to say no to what he was asked to do.  As a result, his life seems to  flow to a rhythm that attracted all who knew Him

I think our lives need to be as focused as Jesus’ was.  Like him we need to have a very clear sense of what God is calling us to do and when to say no to what does not fit within those boundaries. A good starting place is to revisit the clear overarching calling statement Jesus gave to all human kind. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself.  Or you might like to do some study on the values and culture of the kingdom of God. Living into these values should be the central passion of all followers of Christ.

Out of this foundation we need to use Jesus priorities & life example to develop our own kingdom focused personal or family calling statement.  A statement like this can help us shape not only our work priorities but all of our commitments.

A calling statement is a short phrase or sentence that provides an individual or group of people with a sense of purpose for their lives.  It expresses what we see as the reason for our existence and defines the focus for all we are and do.

Biblically based calling statements begin with scripture study and an understanding of God’s shalom purposes for our lives as a foundation for defining that focus.  They are centred on our relationship to God not on our personal happiness, dreams or ambitions.  They are outwardly focused on care for others not inwardly on our own needs   They are clear, concise & easy to memorize.  Such a statement should have broad enough wording to incorporate every area of life.  Make it purposeful & inspirational – A sense of meaning that wakes you up in the morning and sends you striding enthusiastically into the day ahead.

Stay with us tomorrow for the next post in this series on an active listening process for developing your own personal calling statement.

Check out the previous posts:

How Did Jesus Set Priorities

What’s Driving You




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