Practical and Faithful: The Art Of Balancing The Two
If you had to classify yourself in the group of “practical” or “faithful”, which would you be in?
A practical person is one that has a good perception of reality due to the ability to capture the essentials of a situation and determine which way they would like to play into it. They are thinkers, planners, and goal orientated. If a practical person takes a risk, it is because they thought of the best possible outcome for the risk to turn a reward. Where as a faithful person is one that has confidence in what they hope for and assurance about what they do not see. (Hebrew 11:1) So where a practical person may form an idea to work through the small parts because they add to the big picture, a faithful person chooses to walk by their faith and NOT by sight because it is the very thing that leads them towards the things they hope for.
Up until the last couple years, I would have classified myself as a practical person--so I thought! I had this perception of how I viewed the world and how things should work in my favor. I would work tirelessly to achieve whatever it is I may want at the time and when things would go astray, I would lose my mind, literally. I was quite impulsive, to say the least-- especially if my emotions were tied up in the very thing I was working towards. I eventually found myself spiraling out trying to control every aspect of my life. I could no longer keep up with every little thing or person I was connected to. I also no longer wanted to… I felt very tired and weighed down, and I couldn’t even begin to complain about that weight because I brought it upon myself.
I eventually hit rock bottom where a lot of things broke off my life subsequently. In those dark days I found myself having a “come to Jesus” moment that was rather humbling. My dark days taught me how to find the light within me and use it as my guide. I didn’t have anyone that could personally pull me out of my struggle, I had to want to get out of it for myself. Had I never hit rock bottom, I would have never had my faith in Christ restored. From that moment, it was as if my foot-steps had been ordered and all I had to do was trust the process of walking through whatever came in my way. I didn’t have much of a plan outside of crawling out of the hole I dug for myself. I knew that was what I had to do but the ‘how’ is where I had to have faith that all the details would work themselves out.
In the midst of hitting rock bottom, I left a job that couldn’t afford my lifestyle, for a better paying one. I decreased my overhead spending, and only made purchases that were absolutely needed. I stepped away from social media so I wouldn’t find myself wishing I was in someone else’s shoes because of a picture they posted. I got back to basics of being me without the extras and distractions. The more I worked on being a better “me”, the more my life worked itself out over the course of the years. This is where I learned that faith and practicality worked best if they worked together, simultaneously.
James 2:26 says that, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” In other words he is saying, saving faith is demonstrated by good works and good works are the evidence of redemption. Having real faith in Christ is having a transformed heart that is only willing to do the work of God. Being obedient in what He has called you to do is the only way to have saving faith. Now as I walk by His spirit that dwells inside of me, I know that any opposition I face, I will triumph over. I rely on being practical in doing whatever is in my power to be done in that moment. While I rest assured in faith that what I can’t work out on my own, is already worked out in my favor. I just have to be diligent and stead-fast in what I can control. So when I knew the job was no longer serving me and the values I believe in--practicality called for me to search and apply for other jobs, while my faith rested in the knowing that what’s meant for me in the moment will come to me as long as I am willing to do the work.
Now I know that what is for me, can’t be taken away from me. The plan and purpose for my life was written in the heavens way before I was ever formed in my mother’s womb. My sole purpose in life is to become everything the heavenly Father said I would be.
Whenever I find myself choosing between being practical or faithful in any given moment, I remember that I can balance both the same way Christ did because He lives in me. I simply follow these steps:
1. LOOK TO GOD, NOT TO OTHERS, TO DETERMINE YOUR PRIORITIES.
Jesus Christ determined His priorities by spending time with the Father. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.” God’s priorities and people’s expectations of you, very seldom go hand in hand. Whenever you find yourself in the pull between the two, step away from people and find solace in God.
2. SAY NO, SO THAT YOU CAN SAY YES Life is demanding of our time and energy but ultimately we have control over what we give ourselves too. Learning how to make sound decisions on what moves us is very important, not only is it for our well being but it is also for our growth. We can easily get caught up in doing for others that we miss what is essential for us. Prioritization is key to the balance of being practical and faithful. “Only when we know what to say yes too, can we say no to everything else.”
Here’s to the balance Bosses!
By: Aurelle’ Ross