Inside Out 292: Overextended, in a Good Way

10.16.13 | Martha Manikas-Foster

I’m big on saying “no.” Ask anyone who’s running a committee at church. As far as it is within my power, I’m done with racing around, wedging new commitments between standing appointments, and scheduling myself so tightly that every day on the calendar is black with ink.

So it seemed that Woman of Faith speaker and former Focus on the Family staff member Lisa Harper was challenging my resolve when she started calling Christians everywhere to “overextend” ourselves. On purpose. She’s committed enough to this enterprise that she has titled her latest book: “Overextended…and Loving Most of It.”

You’d think that she and I wouldn’t see eye to eye, and I might have thought that, too. But, if you listen to our rollicking conversation (click on an icon above) you’ll find that’s not the case. Lisa’s not asking people to wedge more activities into each day (“I am not advocating for people to get busier,” she says. “Most of us are busy enough.”) She’s challenging Christians to join her in asking: “When is it actually worth ‘overspending’ ourselves for the sake of the Gospel?”

Listen in on our Inside Out conversation as this on-the-go, airline-ticket-in-hand woman describes the intentional life she does advocate. It’s a life where we can overextend ourselves because the commitments we make are in keeping with God’s call on our lives.

“It’s not so much about doing more or doing less,” Lisa Harper says. “It’s about doing what we’re called to —that’s running toward Jesus and loving those that He’s called us to be in relationship with well.”

That could mean that we throw ourselves into activities and relationships we wouldn’t have considered before. “I think really living life on God’s terms—we will be over-extended some times, but the over-extension matters. It’s not just being busy.”

Our 18-minute conversation covers a lot of ground, including the risk involved when we follow God’s call, and some strategies for handling the stress that may be married to the commitments we’ve already made.

LISTEN to our conversation, via the Listen or Download icon above.

LEARN more about Lisa Harper

Read about her book “Overextended,”.

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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