You might be asking yourself, “Well, how do I reverse the damage I’m doing? How do I take this disease to please and transform it into an effort to excel in Christ? How do I accept that often times helping ends up hurting me? I’m caving into every command. I’m drowning in to-do lists. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I’m spreading myself too thin. I’m suffocating from stress not protected in peace. If I say yes to one more dinner, playdate for my kids, or volunteer project I might lose my edge, my sanity, and my health.” We weren’t made to do it all. We were made to do our part. Ask God what part you are designed to play? In theater, every person plays their part. They memorize their lines, facial expressions, pitch, and body language to perform their part perfectly. They aren’t learning lines for everybody else’s part, running the sound booth, raising the curtain, or sitting in the audience. They know their performance because it’s what they were chosen to do. They’ve been given the perfect role for their talents and skills. [clickToTweet tweet=”It’s time for you to stop doing it all and start doing the part you were created to play. ” quote=”It’s time for you to stop doing it all and start doing the part you were created to play.” theme=”style3″]
1. Vertical Vision
Spend a specific amount of time refocusing on your relationship with Christ. Fix the fuzziness that’s resulted from an out-of-focus perspective on life. This is bound to happen when you are running full steam ahead without a pit stop, timeout or pause button. Take a hiatus from your hectic schedule. Root yourself in Christ’s love and wisdom. Your inner people-pleaser might be screaming, “I can’t do that! The world will fall apart if I’m not available.” I can assure you it will not. Even Jesus, the most perfect man to ever live, spent time alone with his father. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place to be alone with God and pray.” Mark 1: 35. That’s not the only example of Jesus spending alone time with his father. Often he spent solitary time with God before he made big decisions. If someone who is perfect, spent one-on-one time with his father don’t you think we should do the same? In fact, it’s a requirement if we want to hear God’s will for our lives through his word and prayer. No distractions. No disruptions. No to-do lists swarming around in your head. Just you and the word. Or you and prayer. Or both. Get lost in Christ’s love for you. Get connected to your Comforter. Get rooted in real peace that can only come from God.
Matthew 11:28 tells us, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” God knew being burn out would burden us. He knew we would wage a war with weariness. All we have to do is COME to him. We don’t have to be superman and superwomen when we have a supersavior to rescue us and restore us through his rest.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God knew being burn out would burden us. He knew we would wage a war with weariness. ” quote=”God knew being burn out would burden us. He knew we would wage a war with weariness. ” theme=”style3″]
2. Stress Less = Yes Less
Now, that you spent some time cutting people out to allow God to come in it’s time to practice saying no. I’m really just speaking to myself here. As a relatively new believer in Christ, I wanted to rescue radically. If I said no to something that meant I was failing God. I had to say yes to anything pertaining to a God-related activity otherwise I was wasting the very life God gave me. It’s been a slow, agonizing process letting things go. Coming to terms with the fact I am just one person and I indeed am not made to “save” the world. There’s only one person who can save the world. I’m made to do His will – not his job. That’s been a hard pill for me to swallow the past couple of days realizing I was trying to do God’s job for him because just maybe he didn’t know what was right for me. How embarrassing and heartbreaking that I couldn’t trust the one who knows me better than I even know myself. The one who knows the number of hairs on my head which is saying something since my hair falls out constantly. God has given me a plethora of ideas for ministries, but guess what? I can’t just start them all at once. It would be disorganized, stressful and not as glorifying to God if I rushed to do everything He has told me. You don’t need to rush something you want to last forever. I have to be patient and wait for the right time in my life to begin the God-given dreams granted to me. God will give you a green light when it’s time for you to GO. Wait for His signal.
3. Choosing between GOOD and BEST
A quote that’s plagued me for the past three months goes as follows, “The hardest decisions in life are choosing between good and best.” I’ve realized how true this is. Now, that’s not exactly biblically, so I wanted to find scripture that backed up this quote. It came to me as I was reading through Acts recently.
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
Now, are they saying they are too good to feed the widows? Not at all. They simply know what role they are supposed to play in God’s kingdom and what they do best. If they sacrificed what they do best to do what was still good and God-honoring who would be left to do what God has called and created them to do? They still filled the need but went about it in the right way. Don’t go for good, but pursue the best.
Another verse has dwelled deep inside me the past couple of months as well, although not specifically speaking to the battle between good and best, I think it can be applied to wise decision-making.
1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”
Sure I could eat an entire cake, but is that beneficial? Sure I could work 80 hours a week but is that constructive? Only you and God know.
4. Don’t make your day harder than it has to be
This is a motto I’ve really started to embrace at work. Of course, this happens during a lull in my tasks. Will it stick when everybody around me starts to rush? Will I remember when everybody is pressuring me to accelerate? Jesus accomplished everything he was supposed to during his short time on earth. Every person that was supposed to be healed found healing. Every demon that was supposed to be cast out was cast out. He didn’t worry if he was good enough or doing enough. He didn’t ask for more time in his day. He did what he was called to do. The weight of the world should not be on your shoulders. It’s not your weight to carry.
Matthew 11:29-3029 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus grants us rest for our souls through the grace that is given to us freely by the sacrifice of the son. It’s a pretty sweet deal for us. Easy to accept. We exchange our sins that weigh us down and separate us for freedom in Christ. Amazing grace, indeed. I am unqualified, undeserving and unworthy, but that’s the point. If I were qualified, deserving and worthy I wouldn’t NEED grace. I am desperate for it every second of every day.
5. Find peace in your pace
Right this moment I have about 15 blogs I want to write. Five ministries I want to start. Three volunteer organizations I want to belong to. As much as I wish these ideas would just come to me as God was ready for me to begin them that is not always the case. He will often place things on your heart long before the time to act and execute. But I get to use discernment and wisdom on deciding what is a priority and what he wants me to let bake in the oven a little bit longer. Don’t worry everything you are created to accomplish will get done. Life is a marathon. Not a sprint. Pace yourself. Write everything down you feel you are supposed to do and wait for God to give you directions on your next steps.
I know all this is easier said than done. People-pleasing and telling people no is one of my struggles. Right now you might have six tabs open on your computer, the television blaring in the background, and your phone ringing with a request on the other end all while you realize you haven’t touched anything on your to-do list. Focus on what matters most. Focus on what God is calling you to do. Remember, we are created to please an audience of one not to seek the applause of the crowd.