When Is It Enough?
How many times do you need to say “thank you” before it’s enough? Your spouse is wonderful, and you tell him/her that all the time. This is the 1,637th time he’s vacuumed the living room – surely he won’t need to be thanked again. Will he?
Is there a set amount of Scripture that’s enough to know? You’ve memorized more Scripture verses than your church leaders. You have your arsenal to quote. Often. Your phone has a Bible app. Every room in your house has a different verse displayed. You read the Bible daily. Yes. You’re Biblically well-versed.
After extending grace over and over, and nothing changes, is it enough? Can you stop now? You’ve forgiven her. It’s not your problem she can’t move on.
You’ve encouraged that person for years. You’re running out of things to say and do to encourage. He’s had enough, hasn’t he? When he no longer responds to your encouragement, you can stop. Right?
The circle of friends you’ve developed has enough people. You’ve bonded. You’re connected, and you strengthen each other. There’s a synergy in knowing each other for years; adding someone new will mess it up. There’s no need to embrace someone new, is there?
When is it enough?
This world we live in likes to measure achievements, bank accounts, and collections of assets. Our social media world makes “likes,” “friends,” “followers” and “connections” measurable.
When is it all enough?
(Or maybe that’s the wrong question?)
Perhaps we need to stop measuring.
Stop measuring, and continue being:
- Investing time in solitude.
- Devoting ourselves to prayer.
- Digging into Scripture.
- Developing supportive relationships. Everywhere.
Stop measuring, and continue doing:
- Extending grace in every direction.
- Forgiving even when we’re right.
- Encouraging with hope, faith, love, prayer and action.
- Building circles of God-honoring community.
You’re not finished
Friends of ours celebrated 60 years together in marriage. When they met, he heard, “She’s the one.” They married a few months later.
Their life together has held joys and disappointments. Just like yours. And ours.
But if you’d ask them, 60 years of marriage isn’t enough; they’re not done. They can still positively influence each other, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
What about you? The influence you can have on those around you, including your spouse, is not measurable. You’re not done.
In our little home congregation in Garner, North Carolina, we’re surrounded by retired ministers and their wives. North Carolina is a warmer spot to settle in retirement, compared to where they served for decades. But they’re not done. Their experience and wisdom as leaders cannot be measured.
Conversely, we also have young leaders in our little congregation. The term “young” is subjective, we guess – depending on your own age. In this illustration we term “young” in comparison to decades in ministry. These novices and apprentices serve in the congregation, lead with enthusiasm, and offer insight unique to their own walk of faith. It’s not measurable and they’re far, far, from done.
Work. Maybe it’s time to stop referring to work as a way you earn money, and start seeing where you go and who you meet each day as your place to influence. Influence is the definition of leadership.
Each day that you show up to work can be a day where you influence others – where you can lead like Jesus. This is not measurable.
Your life is NOT done.
In every aspect of your life – relationships, roles, and interactions, even on social media – you can lead like Jesus by being a reflection of God’s love.
You’re not done doing, obeying and expressing God’s love. You’re not done being, accepting and abiding in God’s love.
Love. Love covers it all.
We need God’s love.
We can never have enough of His love. Fortunately, God’s love is not measurable. It’s immeasurable, unlimited and surpassing great.
God’s love is not done.
Even though Jesus’ work on this earth ended with His words, “… It is finished.” (John 19:30), God’s love for everyone is not done:
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3 NIV)
By Robert and Lori Ferguson
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