I held my breath as my sister opened the doors to her bridal shower, feeling nervous and eager to see her response to the party I’d planned for her. With a minimal food and decorations budget, I was limited in what I could do, but I tried to do my best with what I had.
“Sis … this is so great! I love it!” she smiled and reached out to hug me.
“Really?” I sighed with relief.
“Yes! Really, you didn’t have to go to all of the trouble…” she said, touching the burlap banner I had made that read “Ashley & Korey.”
“Nonsense. It was no trouble at all,” I replied.
And it was true — the shower had been a lot of work, but it was no trouble at all because it was a labor of love. I wanted my sister to know how much she was loved, and how excited we all were for her. This drove me to work hard and create something wonderful for her — something that would warm her soul.
Though I wish I could say I approached every labor of love with this kind of devoted time, care and enthusiasm, the truth is I don’t always give everything my all. Of course I believe in doing things right, but I’m no perfectionist and I like to do things efficiently. I thrive off of being efficient. It’s one of the things that enables me to work quickly and go above and beyond my to-do list every week. (Lovers of efficiency, can I get an amen?!)
While there’s nothing wrong with being efficient in some areas of life, I fear that sometimes the desire to be efficient can leak into our faith lives as well. Maybe you can relate to this. Say you want to serve but you don’t feel like you have the time. You want to share your faith with someone at work but are worried about what that could mean for your career. You want to cultivate deeper relationships, but your schedule seems too booked for it.
Let me share with you something that God has really been working on in me lately: Following Him isn’t always efficient or convenient — but it’s worth it!
Last week I received an email from a literary agent letting me know that while she was still interested in representing me, my book needed a little tidying up before she would fully consider it. I have to admit I was very discouraged when I first read this email.
“God … seriously I don’t have the time or energy for this. I’ve already been working on this for two years. Isn’t that enough?” I said.
Seconds later, the words of Colossians 3:23 echoed in my mind: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (NIV)
God used this beautiful and inspiring message to help motivate me to keep giving things my all. But this message isn’t just for me … it’s for all of us!
You see God doesn’t want us to have an efficient faith. He doesn’t want us to just do things to get them over with. He wants us to represent Him well and devote ourselves to whatever He has set before us. So today friends, whatever it is you are working toward on behalf of the Kingdom, I want to encourage you to give it your all. See it as a labor of love and approach it like you would approach throwing a bridal shower for your sister (or for the guys out there putting together a fantasy football team).
Don’t go through the motions for the sake of being efficient in your faith life. Be willing to sacrifice your time and talents for the glory of His name and He promises: “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” 2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV.