Even more dilemma-an exercise in digital conversation

I started this list as a comment to a previous post. I decided to make it a post of its own.

I’m trying to sort through some things about relationship as it relates to leadership, to spiritual direction, to helping people in ways that are consistent with the ways that Jesus helped (and helps) people.

Respond, argue,  clarify, ask for clarification.

1. It takes time to get to know other people in the helping community.

2. The more we know other people, the more we trust what they can do.

3. There are no agencies in the New Testament, only people and the church. (Thus, when Jesus sorts out the people who showed Him love from the people who didn’t in Matthew 25, He was holding individuals accountable)

4. The more time we invest in (as opposed to waste on) people, the more we are about what Jesus was about.

5. Investing in means providing the resources that are needed to accomplish the work. Tools, principles, truth, love.

6. Wasting on means giving up something of value for no gain.

7. It is possible to waste time on people. What that looks like is being with them and not putting into them what we know would be helpful. For example, listening to the same description of the same problem for the 17th time and not saying, “You know, this would help.”

8. I can’t always tell the difference between waste and invest.

9. I know that the difference ISN’T about productivity.

10. So as leaders we have to figure out how to be present with people, investing and not wasting.

Making sense?


6 responses to “Even more dilemma-an exercise in digital conversation

  1. We have limited capital to invest. Since the return on the investment is not always apparent–or if it is visible, may not appear till a long while has passed–discernment, gained through prayer, and listening to God’s Spirit and to the person in whom I am investing, will help me know where to invest initially and when to stop investing there or where to invest next.

  2. I don’t think about “wasting” time with people. But I guess that’s where No.8 applies.

    Sounds like a good exercise of stepping out of yourself for a spell and realize the what and the why of your conversation. Listening and responding, instead of hearing and agreeing.

  3. RE #8: I’ve been pondering 2 corinthians 12:14 and following in relation to the distinction between spend, invest, waste time: 15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?

    Here is a thought which may be a partial answer. Paul was gladly spending everything he had and expending himself as well, but it wasn’t indescriminately, but on his “children in the faith”. Maybe, when we are sure that God has given us someone to minister to, we can be confident in the spending of ourselves on that person. Now how to be sure that a relationship is God-ordained . . . or am I just restating the original question?

  4. Amy, yes it is the listening, because the right place to invest isn’t always clear.

    Bill, I love the way you simplified this whole thing. Listen and respond instead of hear and agree. Brilliant.

    Anna, you didn’t just restate, because you took us to the core.

    And everyone, Anna and I were talking face to face the other day and realized that spend is probably better to use than waste. So the choices are to spend time or invest time (like we spend or invest other resources).

  5. For myself, I know I will always err on the side of spend instead of conserve absent a direct word from God. And I think that’s ok as long as I listen and obey when/if that direct word comes.

    And ps. I think conserve is ok absent a direct word from God as well.

  6. ah, but i’m thinking spend versus invest rather versus conserve. Conserve probably enters into a sabbath conversation.

    I’m assuming that we need to be pouring out, but i’m thinking that what comes out needs to be investment, rather than just rambling (which, for me, is a challenge) and I need to be looking at where and how I am investing.

    And i think this needs to turn into a new post.