Draining or Invigorating

We live in the age of busyness. A couple of years ago I made the observation that when I first entered ministry when I would ask someone, “How are you doing?” They would politely respond, “Fine.” Now when I ask someone, “How are you doing?” People are more likely to respond, “Busy.” And I find myself, too often, responding the same way.

Our society, and unfortunately we as Christians also, have made “busyness” a virtue. Somehow we have accept the notion that the one who is busy or better, harried is somehow more important. Busyness, while not equal to productivity, has become a value. We don’t want to appear to be “lazy.” We even have aphorisms that teach us, “If you want to get something done, find a busy person.”

I admit, it is easy for me to say “yes” to too many activities. So how do you decide?What is it that invigorates you?

What is it that drains you?

We’ve begun to have the discussion in our home.

When trying to plan the use of our time and which activities we involve ourselves in, it is not always about right versus wrong, but about better or best. And when the event is a choice (not required by one of our commitments) how do we decide?

One way we look at those choices related to “draining or invigorating.” Different personalities are invigorated by different kinds of involvements.

Some people are energized by time with people, others are drained.

Some people are energized by activity, others drained.

Some people are energized by solitude, other drained (or go crazy).

Some people are energized by physical activity, other well, as Winston Churchill is infamously quoted as say, “When I have the urge to exercise, I roll over until it passes.”

Knowing what energizes us is not the only means of determining what activities we should be involved in–values, missions statement, time for personal growth are better–but it does help.

What is hard is when those around us are energized by different things and can’t understand how we may see a certain activity as draining.

I’ve very glad my wife and I have a similar perspective.

Author: Steve

I love to study the Bible and I love to engage with others in learning. I had been privileged to do this on a regular basis through church ministry and through part-time teaching at a local Bible colleges. Helping individuals learn to feed themselves through their own study of God’s Word is joy-giving to me. Influencing groups to do life and church from a biblically grounded, theologically faithful perspective is my passion.


  1. Steve,

    Very Relevant. Gallup asks folks to record what you “love” to do and what you “loathe” doing. It’s a great activity to find whether or not you are actually playing life to your individual strengths.


  2. Yes…plenty!! I have accumlated much on strengths-based performance over the years. One of the clearest entry assessments to organizations that allow strengths to be buikt is from Buckingham’s First, Break All The Rules: What the Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently.

    12 Questions
    Measures of the core elements that attract, focus, and keep the most talented people

    1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

    2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

    3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?

    4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

    5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

    6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

    7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

    8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

    9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

    10. Do I have a best friend at work?

    11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

    12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

    Rate your answers to this from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree) with three being neutral. The most highly engaged, strengths-focused organizations score mostly 5s. I have found in using this assessment, objectivity of the responders is very important to accurate data. A good day normally inflates the scores…a bad day, the reverse. I ask folks to be as objective as possible when they answer these based upon whatever is defined as normal for them.

    I actually did a lengthy paper for my doctoral program on the results of this survey…I’ll email it to you.

    I recently gave this assessment to my staff and got excellent data. Clear places for organizational improvement. There is more.

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