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Our roles and responsibilities in life don’t always fit neatly into separate categories. And often we must learn to hold multiple positions and duties at the same time, even as they might seem to contradict each other.

For instance, we can see this in the life of King David. After learning that his son Absalom was killed in battle by David’s own army, David was naturally deeply grieved. But he was still the king. And his commander scolded him and reminded him of his duty to still congratulate his troops and welcome them back home.

David had to grieve personally while still fulfilling his duties as king. He didn’t have the luxury to separate his dual roles and responsibilities. And, more often than not, we don’t either.

For example, we might have a number of personal issues we need to work through – deep wounds from our past, relational insecurities, uncertainties in our work, and the like. But regardless of whatever personal issues we might be working through, we don’t get a day off from love.

We still have the responsibility to love others well despite whatever we might be going through personally.

This is not to neglect our personal needs. But somehow we have to honor both without abandoning one for the other.

David the king didn’t stop being David the man. His personal and professional, as it were, had to coexist.

Likewise, our responsibility for ourselves and our responsibility to others also has to coexist.

Of course, this is not easy and we will often feel torn inside. And perhaps we will default to caring for ourselves first. But like David, we must also be willing to receive a righteous rebuke when we’re reminded of our duty to love others as well.

In the end, faithfully take care of yourself and the personal issues you face. And don’t neglect your duty to love others in the meantime. We must often hold these dual roles and responsibilities at the same time.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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