Doing Our Best

2 Timothy 2:15-25

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.

Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

Galatians 6:9

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

People often ask me how to cope with the endless demands placed on us as Christian disciples, how can we help so many who are in need when we all have limited resources, limited stamina, limited time. My counsel in such situations is always the same, you do what you can and move on to the next challenge. All we can do is our best, all we can offer is what we know and have, and all we can be is the best version of ourselves. God designed us the way we are, I believe whatever purpose our strengths and weaknesses have are holy mysteries to me. I know I cannot do all things, that I only have what I know and possess. So I lean in with the best I can offer on that day. If what I offered was insufficient, if I could have done better, I hope that will come to me and I will improve, do better next time, add more wisdom to my discernment as these challenges reappear. That is all I can do.

I like the quote attributed by many to have been shared by the founder of Methodism John Wesley, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” I think this is good advice. At the end of the day our peace of mind is knowing we did the best we could. It’s all that can be asked of us.