Best Effort

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Take what you have, dedicate it to Jesus, do what you can and trust God with the rest. Dismiss the noise of the crowds’ criticism and listen for His approval.

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.” Mark 14:8

God expects our best, nothing more nothing less. Our best plus God’s best is a productive combination. Indeed, we can fall into the false belief that God will take care of everything without our effort. Or, we can assume the unnecessary stress of everything depending on us, without thoroughly trusting in the Lord. Neither is healthy or right—He simply expects our best—He understands our limitations.

Your stage of life, giftedness, experience, availability and wisdom all determine your capacity. The abilities of others will be more or less than your own, so let the Lord define what you can or cannot do. There will always be opportunities, but measure each  alongside your ability to give it your best. Do not commit under duress knowing that your capacity to deliver is sorely limited. Instead, have confidence in God to say ‘no’ now in preparation for a ‘yes’ later. 

Indeed, when you have given it your best, know that is all God requires. You have done what you could. You can trust Him with this; so do not beat yourself up. Self-flagellation will not gain you points with God or people. They will replace respect for you with pity. On the other hand, do not become puffed up over your best. There is always another person who has done or will do better. Thus, rest in the fact that you have glorified God and brought others into His healing influence. 

“Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them” (Matthew 15:30).

Our best mixed with God’s best is dynamic. Yes, we have limitations. We can only do what we can do, but with God all things are possible. He can arrange circumstances, relationships and resources that intersect with your best. All of a sudden your best, plus the best of others, plus God’s best, leverages outcomes you never dreamed possible. Your “small gift” given to teach abstinence to teens in Africa may yield one result, but that same gift combined with generous friends far exceeds a 100-fold result. 

Furthermore, your decision to do less may accomplish a lot more. It may accomplish more if you focus on becoming an expert in your field of work. Why settle for the wilderness of simple addition when you can celebrate the promised land of complex multiplication? Your best effort blessed by God brings eternal results.

Your best is a valuable resource. Use it for others and to serve God’s Kingdom. The more you exercise your best, the better you become. Your best may become the best, so by God’s grace you become an expert in your field. Take what you have—dedicate it to Jesus—do what you can and trust God with the rest. Dismiss the noise of the crowds’ criticism and listen for His approval. People will be amazed and praise the Lord!

“Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today” (Luke 5:26).

Prayer: How can I sacrificially give back what God has given me—all for His glory?

Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:6; Proverbs 25:14; Luke 9:13; Romans 12:6

Post/Tweet today:  Do not commit under duress knowing that your capacity to deliver is suppressed. #wisdomhunters 

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