This past week, Arnold Schwarzenegger released his new memoir entitled, "Total Recall". In it is a variety of stories most of us all know about his life as a body builder, action star and then Governor of California. But, he does shed light on the end of his marriage to Maria Shriver and his "hot affair" with Brigitte Nielson.
So you might be wondering, how does this apply to ministry?
Here's how. Arnold's personal life never really interfered with him getting where he wanted to get in his career. He just did what he wanted, how he wanted it. That doesn't exactly work for us, ministers. Our personal lives and work lives are so completely meshed tougher that if either one of them is out of balance, it could cause some serious issues.
So what do you do when your personal life interferes with your work life? By that I mean, what happens when your personal life is in shambles and you still have to hold your job as a minister? What happens when your marriage is going down the tubes, or your own child has behavioral problems or your daughter gets pregnant out of wed-lock? Maybe you think that nothing like this could happen to you, but what if it does? What do you do then? How will you respond and how will your church respond?
Don't think this would never happen to you? Think again. I've been in full-time ministry for over 14 years and the amount of disfunction I have seen in Ministers personal lives is there. I have seen marriages fall apart. I have seen children turn away from the Lord. I have seen drug and porn addiction. Some things that happen are out of your control, but affect you personally. There is chaos that affects our personal life and it DESTROYS great ministries and really good people.
As I have dealt with a variety of "personal", real life issues, I can't honestly say how you should respond because every person and situation is different. I can't say how your church should respond because again, every situation is different. But what I can say is 2 things:
- Never stop pursuing Christ through it all. I know that is the "standard", "Christian" thing to say. But it is true. He never promised you smooth sailing (in fact, he shares often about hardships you will encounter). But he does promise us that he will be with us. When Joshua is getting ready to take hold of leadership of Israel and move them into the promise land God says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). God will be with us, even in the midst of the chaos and the storms and HE WILL bring us through it.
- Also, I will say be proactive, not reactive. Don't wait for your marriage to fall apart before you to try to save it. Spend more time with your spouse now. Don't wait for your teenage child to come to you saying they are expecting a child. Invest time in them now.
I share these things with you because, as a person who has gone through some personal chaos out of my control, I have learned a lot about juggling my personal life and my ministry. Life is hard. Ministry is hard. As ministers we have to juggle both and when 1 of them is out of balance, it can destroy the other. We have to learn to balance and be effective in both areas of our lives.
So right now, TAKE A MINUTE and do some evaluating. Seriously, stop what you are doing and look at your personal life. Is it stable? Is it right? Is there something you aren't seeing that is graduating deteriorating? What do you need to do to change that?
Your ministry can be riding high and going great but if your personal life isn't balanced right and thriving as well, your ministry could be destroyed because of it. God has great plans for you and your ministry. But so does Satan and that is why we have to make sure the balance, the juggling act we do between our personal lives and ministry is intact.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Experiences? Share some of your thoughts below so we can all learn and benefit.
Possibly Related Posts:
- Run Focused: What are you focused on?
- the Monday Morning Debrief: Overcoming Dark Times
- Chowtime – 5/18
- Real Dinner + Conversations = Win
- the Monday Morning Debrief: Changes gone array