Today our Director, Kori Yates, shares with us three lessons to help us with choosing the best as we continue our discussion about Flourishing in work this month.
3 Lessons to Help with Choosing the Best
Sign me up!
by Kori Yates
I would volunteer for anything…literally. It’s in my nature somewhere.
I read a survey USAA did not so long ago and found that I am not alone. The survey determined that sixty-five percent of folks in the military community volunteer somewhere. I was not surprised.
Of all the groups I have ever been a part of, the military community volunteers like none I have ever met. There could be multiple causes for this including the fact that jobs can be hard to come by for military spouses and they still want to use their skills, maybe it’s because we have just learned to jump in, it could be that many things wouldn’t happen in our community if we didn’t do them, or maybe it’s just that we are a gang of folks who volunteer. Some of us did sign up to wear a uniform! We volunteer – A LOT.
Volunteering is good, really it is, but along the way, there is some line where we can all cross over from brave to crazy. Have you been there? I have…more than once.
Doing Too Much Good?
From hosting a Bible study to coaching kids sports, I seem to have a desire to step into most any opportunity that comes my way. I either think, “It can’t be that hard!” or “If I don’t do it it might not happen!” I have thought these more times than I could count over the years and found that all my small yeses started to overtake my life.
I can feel it inside when all of those good intentions and desires to serve start to cause anxiousness in my heart which overflows through words and actions into the lives and hearts of those I care about most. Not a pretty sight. The question is not how much I do, but what I do.
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people (Titus 3:8 ESV).
God wants us to do good things. He wants me to do some things but not everything. Obedience to Him is the key. When I focus on what He wants me to do, then, busy or not, I am following Christ. Obedience keeps me brave and protects me from crazy. How do we do that?
3 Lessons to help with choosing the best I have learned over the years.
- Give it Time. I do this two ways. When we move to a new place we have a 6-month Rule. This is an agreement in our house that we will not make any long-term commitments in the first six months of a new duty station. We take some time to pray and ponder what the Lord is doing where we are and how He wants us to join him. The second is our accountability rule. Before agreeing to a volunteer commitment, my husband and I take the time to chat with each other. This allows us to ponder at least overnight and get another perspective. If you don’t have a spouse, find a good friend who will “give it to you straight.”
- Determine Your Mission. Stop and think of what God has taught you, what he’s given you a passion for, and how you’ve used those things over the years. I have determined three things that I believe are general passions or missions that God has for me. In pondering my volunteer time, I compare it to these things. If it doesn’t line up I take a second hard look before jumping in.
- Recognize Seasons. As we move and grow, our mission, our commitments, our time all change. What does this season look like? I usually consider the state of our family (i.e. school ages for kids, deployments/TDYs expected, job commitments, etc) as well as the state of me. Where I am health-wise, spiritually, physically, emotionally. All of these factor in to the season I am in and help determine what God would have me to do during this time.
God has a plan and purpose in every place he plants us. Seeking that out and being obedient to him is key. At the end of the day, I want my answer to be “Sign me up!” to whatever God has called me to. How do you find the right fit for your time?
Lord, show me your way. I long to do your will in this place in this season. Help me to be brave in my obedience and trust you with the outcome. Amen.
Verses to ponder:
Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:6-10 ESV).
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Galatian 2:8-10 ESV).
Visit our Resource Page for more on the topic of “work”.