How to Have a Good Work Life Balance
I have wondered why my love for our students is so often under attack. It seems that the busyness of life, the burdens of building, and the magnitude of adversity we daily face can take our eyes off the students. We can become engulfed in our circumstances and overlook our clientele—our students!
It becomes quite a task to prioritize all God has given us to do—parenting, marriage, work, preparation for teaching, walking with God, etc. In the midst of it all, how often should we keep our focus on the students that so desperately need us?
Paul’s Ministry was to People
Perhaps the Bible character that had more students than any other (outside of the Lord Jesus) was the Apostle Paul. Paul so loved the people that God had called him to mentor. His ministry was his people—his students. And friend, ministry without people only produces misery. Our ministries must be focused on our people, our students.
The Apostle Paul cared for his people in such a way that, even in the most discouraging situations, his focus could be found directly on the needs of his people. We see this clearly evidenced in the book of Philippians. In Philippians 1, Paul reveals his heartbeat for his people and shares how he gained such a spirit of dedication and sacrifice for those to whom God had called him to minister and develop.
Paul’s Mediation Concentration
I would like to walk you through this great chapter and piece together Paul’s heart (his mediation concentrations) so that we can better understand how we can develop a similar heartbeat for those whom God has called us to serve.
Church of Philippi’s Background
Allow me to set the stage for this chapter by giving a little background to the book of Philippians. The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church in Philippi from a Roman prison. He and his partner Silas had started the church of Philippi about twelve years earlier. Two years after they had started the church, they were arrested. It was in that Philippian jail that Paul and Silas rejoiced after having been beaten badly. God sent an earthquake to free them from their chains. This is where the Philippian jailer and his family got saved. This church had witnessed Paul’s trial and his triumph over it all.
10 Years Later
But now, it is ten years later. Paul is imprisoned again, but elsewhere. Yet, though he is locked up, his heart is ON the Philippian people. Because of his sacrificial love for his people, he wrote them this book of exhortation and sent it by the hand of Epaphroditus. Imagine that! Paul is in jail where one man is sent to “minister to [Paul’s] wants” (2:25); and yet, because he was so burdened for his students in Philippi, he sent his most valuable asset (his encourager) to THEM rather than keep him for himself. Wow! What a “burden to be a blessing” he had! Though his circumstances were bleak, he was focused on his “students”, even to the detriment of his own well-being!
Paul wanted to encourage these people. Twenty-seven times in this letter, he uses the words “joy” or “rejoicing.” The purpose of sending Epaphroditus was, “that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful” (2:27).
What a ministry this man had! Is there any doubt in your mind that he was focused on his students? His life revolved around their development. I believe this came supernaturally for Paul. In God’s power, he didn’t need to be reminded to care for those to whom God had sent him to serve.