Posted by: karanoel | April 20, 2018

My new motto

My motto of late has been “do your best.” It may seem very uninspired, but it’s been tremendously freeing since my former, unspoken mentality was “be perfect… which you can’t be (and, may I add, you fall miserably short of).”

Here’s what I’ve come to know. What I want in this life and the impact I want to make on this world can’t be accomplished by natural means. It can only be accomplished by the hand of God working through me. If I acknowledge this from the get-go, it frees me from believing that any amount of effort on my part will be enough. Perfection wouldn’t even be enough, because without God, man – even at his best – is a very small thing with great limitations. But because of these very limitations in “earthen vessels,” we are off the hook to try to accomplish what only God can and we get to “show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor 4:7)

When God wanted to deliver Midian into the hands of Gideon, his response was “Pardon me, my lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” God wasn’t deterred. “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” But instead of beefing up his army and make him feel like the warrior of his dreams, God drastically decreased his army – so that he would recognize his utter dependence on God and so that Israel would not believe that ‘My own power has delivered me.’ In case you haven’t read the story, by God’s hand working through the weakest and the least, “Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again.”

So doing my best means I’m showing up and letting God worry about the rest. It means I’m not copping out when I don’t see how my contribution will make a difference. It means I’m not comparing myself to others who seem to have much more to bring to the table. Like the boy in a hungry crowd of thousands giving his meager amount of fish and bread to Jesus, I’m learning to give what I have, whether it seems substantial or insignificant. And if God happens to want to use me to display His all-surpassing power, then so be it!

 


Responses

  1. Just a thought from CS Lewis. He said this in Mere Christianity. I am paraphrasing: Jesus knows we cannot be perfect in our own strength but Jesus will work in us His power until we are perfect. Lewis says this is what he thinks Jesus meant by “be perfect”. I do so appreciate and enjoy your messages. Keep them coming! Love. Eleanor

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • I had totally forgotten the verse about being perfect as He is perfect. That’s great food for thought (I love CS Lewis!) and really empowering to know that He is always working toward that end. Love you!


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