I’m sure we’ve all had these feelings as we look on Pinterest and realize we should organize our closets that way, or feed our children that snack, all the while, wishing we had more money to decorate and upgrade our houses that way. We could all use a $400 air purifier to rid our toxic environment of off-gassing, right? Then we get up and look our kitchen sinks and wonder “what the heck is that crud growing in the caulk and why can I never seem to scrub it out? My life just doesn’t measure up!”
Or how about when we read a wonderfully inspiring missionary story or radically challenging Christian book and we realize that we actually feel called to do only this one little seemingly insignificant thing, but have a deep desire to do more. But in my real life, my videographer husband who makes Christian documentaries isn’t going for getting rid of the television and I’m not going to get rid of my brand new Keurig that was a present from my 8-year-old who saved up her money for months to buy it for her coffee-loving mommy. So where does that leave me? Even if I did, what would that prove? Do I do things just for the sake of checking it off my list of “I’m a super cool dying-to-self Christian?”
Every time I write anything, I am constantly spell-checking, fact-checking and spirit-checking to make sure somewhere, somehow I have not offended one group or another, because my heart of hearts is to find Jesus, to show Jesus, to judge less and love more, to have mercy and grace. But then, at the same time, express the views and lessons I’ve learned. To show what Christ has been showing me, in all its intricacies, on a flat sheet of paper. I really understand why James admonishes us that not all should be teachers because we have so many “human” issues.
James 3:1-2 (NIV) Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
So, what, shall I not try? Maybe I’m not a good enough Christian to write these words.
My thoughts can be summed up in one final question: Am I enough?
And what I feel the Lord has been speaking to me is shocking! The answer is short, succinct, and to the point.
Being a great mom is not enough. Being a good writer is not enough. Being an effective evangelist is not enough. My efforts are NOT enough.
But before I got really depressed, the second part of the answer came swiftly: Only Christ is enough.
As a mom, someone will always be doing more than I am, I only have to look at the mothering blogs to tell me that I could be sewing, crafting, baking and hiking more with my children. I could be making steaks instead of frozen pizza. I could feed my children more veggies, less refined sugar. The list goes on and on.
As a wife, I’m sure I could be spending less time cleaning and more time…*cough*…somewhere else. Nuff said?
If I look at my writing, I could express my thoughts more clearly, write more often, be more challenging, care less about what others with think of what I have to say.
If I look at my evangelism, I could be doing more backyard Bible studies for children during the summer, I could adopt or foster children, I could volunteer more with the homeless, I could open my house to unwed mothers by giving up my own bedroom and sleeping on the couch. I could give up everything and move to Pakistan.
I could…I could…I could…I should…I should…I should…
But even if I did all these things, would it be enough? But then something inside me asks, ‘Enough to do what?’
Enough to save the world? To feed and clothe the dying? To make a difference? To earn salvation?
But the answer is the same: No.
I cannot do these things in my own strength and it be enough to accomplish any sort of lasting good. And by lasting, I mean eternal.
If I do all these things without Christ, all my efforts are considered hay and rubble. They may help the needy for a season, but the poor will always be with us. I could preach to a crowd of 10,000, but without Christ my efforts may produce good vibes, but no true converts to the amazing Gospel of Christ. I may write 100 songs, poems, articles and books, but without Christ’s Spirit, they will do nothing but simply entertain a dying world.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13 (NIV) For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
So, as I weep for my persecuted brothers and sisters in Turkey, wishing I could join the mission field in Uganda, trying to figure out how to sell all my possessions to get out of debt and follow Christ, I must remember what I can do today for them, no matter how little is enough if done in Christ’s Spirit. I am responsible for what I can accomplish today, no more, no less. If all I can do is pray, then I will pray for them today.
As I strive to buy and make more broccoli, make my pancakes with hidden sweet potatoes, deny my children the little bags of chips I bought on a whim, I must remember that my next grocery trip is not too far away and I can make better decisions each time, knowing I’m doing my best while intently listening for the Lord’s guiding voice that says, “maybe just one little piece of candy won’t kill them,” or “perhaps you should tell them ‘no’ this time, they’ve had enough sweets today.”
If I live a life full of the wisdom of the Word of God and the Spirit’s leading, all my efforts will be enough because they are done by faith in Christ. Christ alone is enough.
I could do all the things I “think” I should do, but without the leading of Christ, the abiding joy of his Spirit in all my workings, I have lived a life that will never be enough.
Head covering Christian woman who loves good coffee and stinky cheese. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my six children (5 girls, 1 boy).
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I'm Elaine. And I'm tired of living a boring Christian life...because I know MY GOD is anything but boring. Radical Christian Woman delivers practical tips for living a RADICAL Christian life despite a lackluster and mundane Christian culture.