What Should a Christian Do When They Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything?
Romans 12:8 tells Christians to “lead with diligence”. However, there are moments in life when doing anything, let alone leading with diligence, seems impractical or even impossible. There are days when I feel weak, powerless, and unable.
How can I “lead with diligence” when my diligence feels broken?
Consider the context of Romans 12:6-8. Paul is encouraging the body of Christ to operate within their giftedness according to the need.
Romans 12:6-8 “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Why is Paul wanting us to recognize our giftedness? Because we can easily get worn out and discouraged when we try to take on more than we should. Paul knows we all struggle to keep life simple and to not put too much on our shoulders. He says in Romans 12:3 “don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think”. However, Paul encourages us to share the responsibility of being servant leaders.
Romans 12:4-6 “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.”
God has gifted us all with abilities to lead in various ways. Instead of feeling like you must do it all, simplify. Lead where you are gifted to lead. Then follow others in the areas they are gifted to lead. If you try to do everything, you not only hurt yourself, you rob others from being able to serve and grow as leaders. Get out of the way and eliminate your jobs by delegating to others where they are gifted. Stop making sure everything is perfect and just stick to your bread and butter. God never called you to do everything and He doesn’t call you to be perfect at everything. Instead, he calls you to do what you are gifted to do.
2. Be Renewed…
Before Paul tells us to lead with diligence (Romans 12:8), Romans 12:1-2 reminds us to present our body to God (vs.1) to be renewed (vs.2) so that we “prove God’s perfect will (vs.2)”. There are many things a person can do for God. We can work ourselves to the bone, but do you know the primary thing God wants? Not your service, but your heart. In Matthew 9:13 Jesus said, “but go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice.’” Jesus is recognizing that we tend to get religiously focused in our behavior (sacrificing animals), yet we lack a compassionate relationship with God.
Your soul was designed to find its renewal in Jesus not in religious duty (Aka sacrifices in a temple). Don’t get me wrong, doing things for God has a place of importance. However, ministry is never intended to be an end in itself. Ministry exists for the purpose of connecting hearts to Jesus. If we start treating ministry as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end, we will serve without being renewed. We will complete ministry tasks and neglect the heart. When the heart is not renewed, we become spiritually malnourished. Ministry is a tool to help lead hearts to Renewal in Jesus. The greatest ministry you can start with is allowing the Lord to work on your own heart renewal. In Philippians 3:8 Paul said he laid all his religion aside for one purpose, to know God. This did not mean Paul stopped doing stuff for Jesus. Rather this means Paul stopped seeing his religions action as an end. Rather, he started seeing his ministry to reach hearts for the Lord beginning with his own. Religion can rob you, but Jesus renews you. More than anything God wants you to connect with him. Encourage others to do the same. In this way, leadership takes on a healthy perspective.
3. Be Faithful (in every Season) …
We all face various seasons of life, hard seasons and easy seasons. Let’s be honest. we prefer the easy seasons. We often act like hard things are ungodly. However, keep in mind that seasons of difficulty aren’t all bad. Our faith typically grows exponentially in adversity. Please know I am not encouraging you to run toward adversity. Rather, recognize seasons of adversity as times God can use to refine us as leaders. In Romans 12:14 Paul calls Christians to live godly lives when facing adversity. Why? Because when we encounter hardship our first inclination is to act out of our feelings.
When we are tempted by the drive of our feelings, we have a choice to make. Will we follow our feelings or follow our faith? When we choose faith over feelings, we are demonstrating that our faith is more important than our feelings. Feelings come and go, but God is worthy of our faithfulness in all things. This is how God uses our adversity to grow our faith. When we could follow the leadership of our feelings, we follow the God of our faith. Remember, when it comes to feelings, it’s just a season. It too shall pass. Even though we may not want feelings of adversity, being faithful demonstrates our trust in God above all else. Before the Lord, this is beautiful. Next time you are in a season of struggle, know God cares about your feelings, and that it is also the perfect time to demonstrate the depth of your faith over the drive of your feeling. This is the mark of godly leadership.
4. Be Realistic…
Sometimes we get burnt out because of our impossible expectations. We can demand more of ourselves than God. We get discouraged when we don’t achieve the results we want. In trying to be better than everyone else, we burn out. Be Careful!!! Remember, God doesn’t judge you based on your accomplishments. God judges us based on faithfulness. God knows right where you are, and he knows what has been handed to you. He knows your challenges and struggles. Be careful not to put expectations on yourself beyond what God has given you. Rather, Be Real! Be Faithful! At the end of the day, when you meet God face to face, he will not count your accolades nor your accomplishments. He just wants you to be faithful.
In Revelation 3:8 God delights in a struggling church that was unable to do much. God said, “I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
God describes this church as having little power. In short, they can’t do much. However, God sees them as beautiful. Why? They kept His Word. They were faithful. Don’t demand of yourself more than God expects.
Being “diligent to lead” (Rms 12:8) doesn’t mean you have to be superman. Being diligent means you have learned to serve in your area of giftedness. You bless others in your giftedness, and you give others freedom to bless you too. When the time comes for you to lead, you lead. When the time comes for others to lead, you step aside and cheer them on. You choose faithfulness over feelings and you are realistic with your expectations. You don’t assume more of you than Jesus does. Rather you just want to know Jesus and encourage others to do the same. You are salt and light for the Lord.