I have been in full time ...

Jenni asked:

I have been in full time ministry in inner city Los Angeles for the past two years and recently staffing funds were cut. So i took a local job sort of to be a tentmaker. However, the stress is killing me. I am now working over 55 hours each week and its not worth it. Everybody tells me to buck up because if Paul could run two successful careers, then they figure that I ought to also. Help!

Jack Answered:

Jenni, you need a change. You cannot live like this, and you shouldn't. The comparison to the ministry of the Apostle Paul is incomplete: Paul did not live, or participate, in a market economy. He lived in people's homes, and ate with the community of Christians.

All the great leaders of the Bible had plenty of time to themselves. They did not successfully run two careers, but they successfully said no to certain opportunities. Mark 1:35-38 reads:

"In the morning, while it was still very dark, he [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, 'Everyone is searching for you.' He answered, 'Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came to do.'"

Jesus, as God with unlimited compassion, was also a human with limited strength. There were people in Israel (and in Africa, and China, and Europe etc.) who never got to touch Jesus in the flesh, because he went to a different village, and because he took the time to pray. Similarly, there is no way you can do everything you dream about, so you have to give everything up, and let Jesus tell you which things you should do. A speaker at Urbana '96 (I forgot exactly who) said that over-busy-ness is the sin of pride. Some things you need to give up.


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