Warnings Against Over-Committing
by Steph Beth Nickel
Complete edit. Find and train sound room personnel. Recruit someone to clean the church.
These are just three of the things on my To Do list, a list that has to be completed before Thursday, July 20, when my husband and I fly to Jasper on vacation.
God calls us to serve one another, to use our gifts and abilities to honour him and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ. And yet, there are drawbacks to over-committing ourselves.
It has been years since I’ve succumbed to anger and frustration and had a meltdown. (Until God delivered me, it used to be a regular occurrence.) However, that’s exactly what happened this past Thursday evening.
My husband and I are waiting on an individual to do his part before we can do what needs to be done in one certain area of ministry. Busy with a demanding job and a young family, he doesn’t seem to realize how heavily we’re depending on him.
After meeting with this man, my hubby came home and told me they hadn’t gotten anything done that they’d originally intended—and I lost it. I was absolutely, positively overwhelmed.
Being the mature, spiritual person I am, I immediately took my concerns to the Lord and felt His peace wash over me. Right?
No, not right.
I didn’t want to relinquish my anger and frustration. I wanted to stay mad.
Has this ever happened to you? You want to vent just a little longer.
Thankfully, the Lord wouldn’t let me. Even in the midst of my mini tirade, I came to realize just how frustrating it must be for church leaders who want to further God’s kingdom in their community but don’t have the support of those around them.
A tiny part of me was rejoicing that the Lord was teaching me something even when I seemed quite unteachable.
And yes, eventually I did begin to pray for the individuals whose actions I have no control over. I also made a revised list of what I need to accomplish in the next few days, those things I can do something about. I unclenched my fists and got on with things.
My To Do list wouldn’t be near so long if I hadn’t taken on so many commitments. I once heard a wise teacher say she never took on anything new without prayerfully deciding what she could set aside.
Even after my meltdown, I’m not ready to make this commitment. Still, I must carefully evaluate all I am doing and ask God what, if anything, He wants me to lay aside.
How about you? Are you over-committed? Have you asked the Lord which responsibilities He’s given you and which He’s calling you to set aside—at least for now?
If not, I encourage you to do so. You just may be able to forego the downside of being over-committed.
Seek to avoid over-committing. (Click to tweet)
Warning: meltdown ahead. (Click to tweet)
Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.