Spiritual Principles

It’s Not That You Don’t Have the Time

It's Not That You Don't Have Time | The Christian Doctor

When physicians were asked about barriers to spiritual care, the most common responses was lack of time. [1]

Not surprisingly healthcare professionals are busier than ever. With full patient loads and ever increasing reporting requirements regarding quality measurements, the demands of medical providers are at an all time high. Spiritual care easily gets pushed to the back burner.

But what does it mean to say, “I don’t just don’t have the time?”

I recently married my beautiful and loving wife Melanie. At times she will ask me to take out the trash. If I were to tell her, “I just don’t have the time for that right now,” what have I communicated to her? Essentially I’ve said her needs and my relationship with her is not the priority at the moment. That can be hurtful.

The fact is we make the time for activities that are important to us, for the activities we know make a difference in our lives. What we do with our time speaks to our priorities.

Real Barriers to Spiritual Care

Stating a lack of time as a barrier for spiritual care may actually be a smoke screen for something else. Here are 5 real barriers of spiritual care for healthcare professionals.

  1. We are not connected to Jesus.

    Our days are hurried and stressed. We are in fight or flight. We feel as if in survival mode. Making ourselves aware of the presence of God means pausing just long enough to know God is here.

  2. We are wary to trust God with the time.

    We hoard time to ourselves cautious of surrendering it up to God. Fear tells us if we give something up to God it may not come back. Our schedule will get away from us. We could lose control and experience a less-than-favorable outcome. On a personal note surrendering time, especially clinic time, is one of the most difficult things for me to do.

  3. We are wary of trusting God with our finances.

    We may be on the edge with our finances. Therefore every minute of our day is controlled and efficient. Perhaps God wants us living on the edge in order to increase our trust in him.

  4. We are unwilling to learn from Jesus.

    David Levy, author of the book Gray Matters, writes this: In order to be good at something we must be willing to do it poorly at first. Is spiritual care worth the effort to get good at even if it means stumbling along?

  5. We let the business of medicine take the place of the God of medicine.

    We get caught up with the numbers, the process and the quality. There’s the adage: no margin, no mission. These things are good and necessary. But is the business of medicine driving our practice or is it mission driving our practice? The two are not necessarily the same.

As I’ve dug deeper into my own excuse of stating, “I don’t have the time,” I find it is actually these barriers keeping me from spiritual care.

What are your most significant barriers to spiritual care? Leave me a comment below.

[1] http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0915/p546.html

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1 Comment

  • Reply Nercy Wong January 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Family, friends & my taste buds!

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