(This post was written by Evan Crass, Associate Pastor of Groups)
Just over a week ago, a team of staff and ministry leaders from Faith Promise attended Catalyst. The theme – “The Tension Is Good” – was described throughout the event as we were challenged to serve people in new ways, to meet the needs of those in our neighborhoods and around the world, and to grow because of (and not just through the) tension. Yet the theme was most clearly articulated by Andy Stanley during his opening and closing talks. Even now, I continue to think through the areas of my life where I experience tension and I’m forced to ask, “Is this tension good?”
Often I work to achieve balance in my life … between work and family, between my wife and my kids, between saying “yes” and “no”. But balance implies equity and life is NOT equitable or fair. The tension between these opposing priorities CAN be good. If I work incessantly to the neglect of my family, my relationships with those closest to me suffers. However, if I don’t work at all and spend all my time at home to the neglect of our finances, my relationships with those closest to me also suffers. The tension between these priorities must be MANAGED, NOT ELIMINATED. This tension will continue to resurface due in large part because these priorities are interdependent. Hence, we must seek out harmony over balance.
Perhaps the most challenging thought from this concept to me personally is not every tension is a problem to be solved. In fact, embracing the tension allows for growth. As you identify tensions in your life, the first question should be “Is this a problem to eliminate or a tension to be managed?” It is through tension that I choose to do what is important. It is through tension that I depend more fully on God. It is through tension that I grow. It is through tension that I become a little more like Jesus.
So what tension should you be managing in your life?
Adults learn on a need-to-know basis, so embrace the tension and the good that comes from it.