On That Which is Beneficial…

blog--2014-02--choosingOvercommitted. 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.

28 thoughts on “On That Which is Beneficial…

  1. Wow–again you have an interesting thought that I would not necessarily connected with that word! Now that I think about it, over committing is another type of filler for emotional emptiness; seeking meaning and acceptance through doing. Thanks for the challenge!

    • Yes. Yes to everything you just wrote! Trying to fill with anything, even “serving”, that is not Jesus-first creates more emptiness. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Jen,
    As the old adage goes ” You have hit the nail on the head.” This is another great post that is divinely inspired by Him. This too is a struggle for me and I am trying to remember that “No ” can really be an anointed word. I agree with you wholeheartedly that anything that we are doing that is not God directed and in line with our purpose, we should release so that we can have peace. I think that your post is His gentle nudging reminding me that it’s time for a reevaluation of everything that I am doing right now to see if I need to “Let go” of anything I believe as I seek His face and sit in His presence quietly over the next few days, I will discover the answer is a resounding “Yes.” I really enjoy reading your posts, they are inspirational and thought-provoking!!!

    • Lavie, Thank you for stopping by! I so appreciate your comment that no can be an anointed word. So often I regard it as Him saving me from something, which He usually is, but to reframe “no” as being just as anointed a word as “yes” changes it for me–makes it just as important and purposeful. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I loved your take on beneficial because it sounds very different from my post today on beneficial. What I like about your post is going back to committing to God’s plan for us and not our plan for us. The verse you chose from 1 Corinthians illustrated your point very well and I’ll just say that it’s not a verse I have really read before. Thanks for your insight! Mary

    • Mary, thanks for stopping in again. I have so appreciated reading others’ perspectives through these hops, seeing how God is working in each of us in different ways.

  4. Love this as I sometimes overcommit too, and it is exhausting. I can be a people pleaser yet being healed of it. Loved the last two lines….”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.”…powerful! May the Lord help us all commit to following what He tells us to do, and make that our priority.

    • Oh, sister, do I hear you, and often share your exhaustion. May He strengthen us both with the confidence and assurance to say no when appropriate.

  5. Absolutely! Just because you can do it, does not mean you should do it. Too much of a good thing can be bad, too. May God continue to bless your ministry and help you discern EXACTLY where He wants you…Mindy

  6. Oh my, you post is speaking right to me! Someone who is definitely one who overcommits….because I can’t say no, it would be like saying no to God, right? Thanks for your thoughts on our tendency to do this!

  7. Wow! What powerful words! I tend to over-commit also.v so boy can I relate. Who would ever believe that two little letters – meaning the word “no” – could be so hard to say.

  8. Overcommitting is so easy to fall into! We want to help and serve, but there comes a point where we are so overextended, we really can’t properly do anything we signed up for. I love your statement- “Let the rest fall away.” That’s so important, yet sometimes very difficult to do :)!

  9. Good word, Jenn! That was a little different perspective from some of the others I read. There is a scripture that talks about “redeeming the time”, and I am reminded of what I think that means . . . To use your time wisely & in the manner that God desires for you. God Bless & Crave God, Deb!

  10. So well said. A few years ago, I started cutting things out of my schedule because I realized I was over-committed. There are so many great ministries and opportunities and homeschool field trips and programs, etc. But I had to learn to say ‘no’ and not feel guilty. Great post!


  11. This is excellent!! Such wonderful insight!! I know many who over-commit – I tend to under-commit I think, and yet so many times I end up in the wrong ministry anyway, where I know that I am not called or equipped for, simply because that is where people want me! I have been learning to stop it, but it is never easy.

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