Handling Your Current Life Roles: P&P Part 5

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Passion and Purpose
Tags: , , , , ,

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Treat your roles and responsibilities as a treasure to be stewarded rather than a duty to be performed. Roles that God assigns you are surprise gifts from the Lord. Roles that you choose are gifts that God has agreed with you to give you. They are all gifts that come with responsibility attached, kind of like your first pet.

Roles are the identities you take on according to specific life seasons. Some of these roles last just a little while. Others last an entire lifetime.

Look at your current roles, find the role you tend to want to minimize in your life and think about the treasure in that role, and the reward that your investment will procure.

Here’s an example:
Role of Mother: children are the treasure
Rewards: a hope filled future full of rich relationships, possible grandchildren, a legacy, heavenly rewards

This will help you keep your eyes on the prize. You can endure a lot more, when you do this. Write down at least one thing you want to be, but maybe haven’t arrived at that identity shift quite yet. It is most likely the one that you have a hard time admitting in front of others. The “What are my current life roles?” section is on page 9-11 of your Discovery Guide.

Since these roles are seasonal, we need to consider the seasons we are in. We learned that there are seasons of permission and seasons of assignment, right? Well, here are a few more seasons and the questions we need to be asking ourselves in each. Transitions are simply moving from one state of being to another. It is the process of change. Change is the only thing we can be sure of. Change can be good or bad. Any time we experience change, we want it to be Godward.

How are you stewarding your current roles?

You may be in a time of transition in which you are between roles, deciding to pick up a new role or discard an old one. These transitions come either by choice or circumstance. If you think you may be facing a transition, take a minute to refer to my article on 5 Types of Transition now.

5 Types of Transition

In the world, we feel as though we have to meet our own needs. In God’s kingdom, he wants us to trust him to provide for our needs in these areas. In every transition there is a test to see how we are going to get our needs met. Are we going to trust God and cooperate with him, or are we going to attempt to do it ourselves?

Consider Abraham: He was about to enter a critical life transition, so God put him to the test, just like he did with Jesus, just like he does with everyone. Take a look at Genesis 22. Do you see how God needed to reveal himself to Abraham as Provider? I think that this understanding of God as Provider is just what we need when consider our life roles and transitions. God as Provider goes way beyond mere finances. We must understand that he wants to provide for all of our life needs.

It is obvious when God is providing. We will know because our needs are met. We become frustrated when we either deny our own needs or try to provide for our own needs. During each life transition, he is showing you a new aspect of himself and of yourself. We tend to get stuck in a longer transition if we don’t see what he is trying to get us to see. You can accelerate your transition through discipline, willingness to change, and focus.

Now I am going to share with you a list of some of our basic categories of human needs. If we are not getting our human needs met, we can be hung up on a need we have and not move forward. This model has been adapted from the popular Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. God promises to be the Provider of every need we have. Take out your Bible and take a look at the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 and Psalm 23. In these passages we find that God knows our needs.

Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sleep, etc.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1 NIV)

Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11 NIV)

God cares about the money in your bank account, the food in your fridge and the clothing on your back. He is our Provider in the most literal sense.

Biblical Example: the widow about to die of hunger, she baked a loaf for the prophet instead of herself and found God’s continuous provision in her cupboard.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NIV)

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:13 NIV)

Biblical Example: David trusted God to keep him safe from his enemies and from harm and preserve his life for God’s purposes.

3. Belongingness and Love needs – work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23:6 NIV)

And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 NIV)

Biblical Example: Ruth was given a new husband and adopted into the family of God.

4. Esteem needs – self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.

For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Biblical Example: Joseph trusted God to exalt him rather than trying to exalt himself. In the end, he was highly exalted.

5. Cognitive needs – knowledge, meaning, etc.

He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3 NIV)

Biblical Example: Solomon sought supernatural wisdom from the Lord and the Lord answered his prayer extravagantly.

6. Aesthetic needs – appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, (Psalm 23:2 NIV)

Biblical Example: David sought the glory of the Lord in the beauty of his temple, his son Solomon got to be the one to build it. Jesus said, “The pure in heart will see God.”

7. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. In other words, “self-actualization” is man’s attempt to define the “abundant life” of which Jesus promises.

You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:3, 5 NIV)

Biblical Examples: Peter really expressed this need when he stepped out on the water with Jesus. Though he was weak, God met him and made him one of the pillars of Christianity.

8. Transcendence needs – helping others to achieve the good life.

your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 NIV)

Biblical Examples: Paul had this desire when he expressed his desire to depart from the earth and be with the Lord, except he would go on living for the sake of others who needed him as a spiritual father. “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.”

Which one or more of these needs hits a nerve for you?

Have you been looking to God for the Provider of these Needs or how might you begin?

Do you tend to place your expectations to high or too low in your respective roles?

Take time to pray about each role. How does God want you to adjust your expectation level in each role?

Have you communicated your expectations to the key players in your life? Are you able to set proper boundaries? How do others’ understanding of expectations affect how you behave?

Do you have access to any life options you are ruling out right now merely because your mind is closed off to certain possibilities?

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