Overcommitted. You name it, I’ll apparently commit to it. I once asked a friend why so many people would come to me to get things done. Their response: “because everyone knows that you will go to hell or high water to do what you say you’ll do, even if it means sacrificing your own good.”
Sounds like a good review, eh? It wasn’t. It disturbed me then, and it bothers me still. When did I decide that the purpose God has for my life is less than the request of some usually well-meaning person just wanting something to get done. I could justify my decisions. I could twist the justification to say that I was serving the church, which was easy because I usually was. But the truth is this: I was avoiding the call God has for me.
“‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” –1 Corinthians 10:23-24, ESV
Am I saying I shouldn’t be serving in the church? No. Does this mean I will never again serve in children’s ministry? I hope not, but I might. The point is this: I over-committed for several reasons, none of which were because God was calling me to it.
Verse 24 above says to seek the good of your neighbor. What neighbor finds an over-committed, stressed, purposeless life appealing? How can I witness in word and deed if I am too busy doing things God never called me to in the first place? Is it okay for me to do those things? Sure. But is it ultimately, purposely helpful to the call of God?
If I say no to the thing, someone else will rise up–or they won’t. Either way, I will have honored God with my time and commitment. And this applies to everything. Everything. Think of the thing that is bothering you–did you go to God first? Did He want this for your time, attention, health? No? Well, there you go. Strip away the pretense, the false (yes, false) sense of owing someone else something, and what you will find is that if you are working against God’s desire for your life, there are ways you are choosing to do it on purpose. And just as you chose your way into it, you can choose your way out of it. Over and over and repeatedly, choose your way out of it.
Ease the stress. Focus on the God Who called you. Commit to only that which He gives for you, specifically you, to do. Let the rest fall away, for it won’t be beneficial. Let it go.