It may only take a spark to get a fire going, but it takes a focused effort to keep a fire going. A fire, left to itself, usually dies out. A fire stoked and nurtured can burn as long as necessary.

One of the best ways to keep your emotional/spiritual fire burning is to surround yourself with the right people.

John Maxwell (in his book Talent Is Never Enough) talks about the difference between firelighters and firefighters. Firelighters go out of their way to help you keep the fire hot. Firefighters go out of their way to throw cold water on you.

For those in ministry, it’s all but impossible to avoid firefighters; they often fill the pews. You can’t avoid them, but you can learn to deflect their influence.

Identify your firelighters and firefighters.

Then you can distance yourself, as much as is possible, from those who walk through life with buckets of cold water.

Choose, instead, to put yourself in company with those whose words and actions are natural kindling for the fire God has given you.