Courtesy of Morguefile.com

The reason behind this has nothing to do with God.

It has nothing to do with the church even.
The issue here is me.
I’m the reason that I have stopped, or rather I am trying to stop, giving my best to God.
Let’s take a step back so you understand where I’m coming from.
Because, according to the Scriptures, giving your best to God is a good thing.
Actually, it is how everything should be done.
In worship, God required the perfect animals to be sacrificed.
People had to wash and abstain from sexual activity.
They had to do this and not do that.
A believer in God would spend their entire lives doing things in a particular way.
It had to be just right.
It had to be the best.
And this tradition of excellence has been passed down from the days of old until now.
We have to sing our songs to God the best way we know how.
All of our sermons, lessons for Sunday School, or events for the youth groups; everything has to be done to perfection.
Still, not a bad thing. Honoring God with our best is something we should all strive for.
But it is also what was driving me into a depression.

I have a problem where I don’t know what my best actually is.

I could throw myself fully at a project, say, a sermon for Sunday.
There could be hours and hours spent reading and researching.
And then more hours actually writing the sermon.
Maybe another hour or two finding graphics and pictures for the slides to go along with that sermon.
Then, when Sunday finally did arrive, I would feel my stomach and spirit turning violently.
“I’m unprepared, I don’t know what I’m talking about” the voice in my head would scream.
No matter what kind of affirmations or congratulations I might have received, it didn’t seem to matter.
If it was my darling wife or the lead pastor or any one of the congregational members, somewhere deep inside I felt that they were only being polite.
Because I could have done better.
I could have spent more time reading and researching. Or more time writing, preparing slides, praying.
I could have done this better or that.
It became a whirlpool of “whatever I do, it sucks”.
It was destroying me. It was ruining my relationship with my congregation, my youth, my wife.
So, I’ve given up. I am no longer giving God my best.
Because I don’t know what my best looks like.
It could be what I do every Friday with the youth, or every other Sunday in church.
I don’t know.
Rather than try to give God some unattainable ideal that I have in my screwed up head, I’m going to give Him what I can.
If I can only put in so many hours for my sermon, so be it.
I did what I could. I am only human.
If youth night isn’t as thought provoking or earth shattering, I’m going to have to be okay with that.
There are only so many hours in the day, and I need to sleep at some point.
I haven’t totally worked this ridiculous idea of giving perfect gifts to God out of my system, but I’m trying.
It will take time, I know.
It will take me consciously telling myself, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It only has to be your best.
It will be a long time before I’m totally okay with just my best.
But that is fine.
And I think God is fine with that too.
He would rather have my best and be alive after I give it, than my best and me died trying to make it better.
If you struggle with the same thing that I am, trying to achieve perfection, trying to give God a perfect gift or offering, take my advice.
Stop.
Just do what you can.
Don’t kill yourself over giving back to God.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? I WANT TO KNOW!
Do you struggle with this too?
How do you deal with it?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
After that it would be great if you liked and shared this blog, +1 it if you are on the Google+.
And you can always follow me here on WordPress, on the Twitter, @regrivett and on Google+ for more good stuff.

Shalom.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Giving God My Best

  1. I precisely had to thank you so much once again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have done in the absence of the type of information contributed by you on such a industry. It became a very horrifying difficulty in my view, nevertheless viewing your specialised strategy you resolved that forced me to cry over happiness. I am happy for your service as well as trust you are aware of a powerful job you are providing teaching many people through your site. I am sure you haven’t met any of us.

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  2. Yep, I understand. You see, I did go through an extremely deep depression period after I became totally disabled. I was in SEVERE chronic pain for over a decade.

    I am still dealing with depression, and I still deal with pain.

    However, I am properly treated for these problems, and am seeking to define a “new normal” for myself.

    As far as “normal” goes, I would love to just slap the heck out of the arrogant person that wrote the definition for the word. There is really no such thing I don’t believe.

    What there is, is what we ARE and what we HAVE to give to others.

    Yes, we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Of course we are supposed to attempt this day by day, step by step, moment by moment. But can we EVER fully achieve that goal? I used to think so, but now am pretty sure that this is something to strive for, for the entirety of our lives, rather than a goal that can literally be met. Hopefully this statement doesn’t offend anyone, but if it does, perhaps they should reconsider wearing their feelings on their shoulder so to speak.

    There really is no perfection in mankind, it is ONLY by the Holy Spirit that we are perfected through Jesus, and made presentable to God, a living sacrifice.

    So, in a sense I agree that we can’t give God OUR best, because OUR best is not THE best we can give. All we can give is our attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus with all that we have within us, and by doing so, we ARE thereby giving God our BEST. OUR best, not THE best.

    OUR best will vary. THE best will not, because it is ONLY through Jesus that THE best can be given.

    My point? Well, I’d refer you to Micah 6:8, which says:

    He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God? (NRSV)

    That’s what God wants. It is all told to us right there in that verse. God wants us to do justice, love kindness, and walk HUMBLY with HIM. THAT is where OUR best crosses THE best…

    Just my thoughts on this matter. Feel free to eMail me with any discussion points if you like, but I AM following you, so I’ll see whatever is posted HERE regardless :))

    Take Care. Stay faithful. Be thankful. Be kind. Be generous. Love our God, and move forward step-by-step!

    Take care & God Bless Ya!
    ~S~

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