Separation of Life and Ministry

I was reading through my first post for “Just Be God’s” and it was a different time to be sure. My social life and work life were not at all related to “serving” or “ministry”, and I had the time and energy to really commit to church as a hobby. It was/is the best way I know how to care for and be cared for by others. What I needed at the time.

Then there is this other world, the serving and caring for others world. This world where you work your booty off as a teacher or minister or counselor or chaplain, and get paid to think about religion and spiritual things and help people. This world where you hear true, intense, and terrible stories that you wish weren’t a part of the human condition. Where there is little to no separation between home and work. For some, this may sound awesome. It is.

But is it?

When I wrote about asking God for a sign, and committing to going to church and seeking spiritual things, I had a special space for it. I made special space for it. It wasn’t my everything, but it was for everything. When religion and spirituality become everything, it’s like I need to find a special space where it isn’t or where it’s different. I have to create space to grow for myself, where I do not have to support others or hold their spiritual space.

Is this wrong? Or is this right?

I’ve been reading a book called “Proverbs of Ashes” and it’s blowing my mind. It takes a lot of simple Christian ideas that a lot of people live by, and says, “That might not be the healthiest thing to teach people (especially the marginalized, abused, and women).”

Sure, to make meaning of suffering (once removed), as a closeness to Christ or as a way to help others or as a learning experience, is nice, but is that what God wants for us? If you wouldn’t tell that to a person during their suffering, why would that work after the suffering?

In a very trivial sense, there may be people dying in their ministries because they believe, and have been taught, this is what God wants. God wants suffering? Exhaustion? Workaholics? God wants us to lie to ourselves and say we love it? Rejoice in our suffering?

Or does God desire that you have the space to love and serve and be loved and served? I hope for the latter God.

 

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Author: Paige

Explorer. Healer. Eater. School counselor, teacher, party planner. Personal passions are holistic healthcare education, spirituality, food, and writing.

4 thoughts on “Separation of Life and Ministry”

  1. God wants you to do the best you can with what you have been given in terms of skills and abilities. He may push you beyond what you think you can do but then He has a better understanding of what those skills and abilities are.

    I think that the struggles Dietrich Bonhoeffer encountered are a good example; not so much when he was in prison but in the times before he was arrested and he had the chance to stay here in the United States rather than move back to Germany.

    1. Then where do we draw the line of God “pushing us” and pure evil? You would never tell a child (or adult for that matter) that some abuse they endured was not beyond what God thought/thinks they can handle. Extrapolate that out to abuse of ourselves or authoritarian institutions and we have to continually ask ourselves, “Is that what God wants (for the sake of what)? Or not?”

      1. I think that is a new question. Are we doing something for ourselves or for others? What are we hoping to gain from all of this? Referring back to Bonhoeffer, he knew that going back to Germany was going to be a problem but he also knew that staying in America was perhaps more for his own well-being than anything else.

        Second thought, if we push ourselves in the hopes that this is what God wants us to do, then we need to stop and evaluate what it is that we are doing. Again, it comes down to sensing and knowing what God wants us to do and what it is that we think God wants us to and what it is that we want to do.

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