Living Healthy and Working Effectively

Later today I have the wonderful opportunity to speak with frontline chaplains who work in crisis situations.

These are people who work with people when the very worst has happened. I can’t imagine how difficult their job is. I’ve been asked to help them with their jobs and with their lives. I hope to be able to help them in some small way.

What can I say to them about living healthy and working effectively? Maybe these things will help you as well. Over the next several days, I will try to expound on some of these.

First, guard your heart. Scripture refers to the heart in a number of ways, but it seems primarily to be the center of a person, a place which controls all other aspects of life. In this sense, the heart is the center of our relationship with God. If that goes, everything goes. We must make sure we guard our hearts by guarding our relationship with God. Scripture and prayer and finding time to be with God are vital to our whole lives.

Second, guard your time. Not dealing with time effectively affects everything that you do. We must master our time and not let it control us. This really matters.

Third, guard your family. I am thankful that the present time is a time when churches finally see that a ministry leader simply must give his family the time and attention that it needs. Wise is the leader who has learned the importance and the art of guarding his or her family.

Fourth, guard your health. My mother used to say, “You are what you eat and what you think.” Unfortunately, most of us are eating ourselves to death. Without good health, it’s hard to sustain a strong ministry.

Fifth, guard your mind. In this case, I use the mind to mean how we normally use the term. Are you continuing to learn? Are you developing your ability to be a better minister or worker. It’s always been important to develop your gifts, but no time in history has been more important than this.

Sixth, guard your career. Anything you don’t protect can be lost. If a minister doesn’t guard his ministry, he will lose the opportunity to do ministry.

What do you need to do to live healthy and work effectively?

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