I have been constructively criticized, lovingly corrected, even accused of living by the “Just Factor”. What am I talking about, you might ask? I’m talking about the factor that lets me do things well, just not to the best of my ability. In fact, I think I can say that I even do things above average most of the time, but I don’t do them to the level I could do them.
Up until recently I’ve always felt that it was a strength. In school I could get 90’s and still spend all the time I wanted to with my friends. In university I could get A’s, play rugby, work 5 days a week and still have a social life. I didn’t get stressed out with work or school, I was pretty laid back knowing I could get things done last minute and they’d be good enough.
Then, in the last couple years, as I worked with people who maybe don’t get as many things done as I do, but they get them done incredibly well, far beyond my “above average” job; it started to be apparent that I did things “just” enough. Ordinarily, and in some circumstances it is beneficial, efficient is the word I like to use, but is God asking for my “just” efforts? Do I bring Him the most glory by the just factor?
As I prayed about it, the only example that kept coming to mind of someone doing “just” enough was Cain. He brought an offering to God, but it wasn’t the best, it might have even been above average, but not best and God rejected it. Is that like my efforts? They might be enough for someone, but if they aren’t my best are they still a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord? I don’t think that the widow brought “just” what she could, but she brought “everything” to the temple as an offering. (Matt 12:42).
Then the Lord reminded me of some of my favourite verses, in Ephesians 3:20,21. God does “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” He doesn’t do “just” what we ask or think, but exceeding abundantly above!!! If I am supposed to be conformed into His image, then shouldn’t I start looking like Him? The just factor should not be one of my defining characteristics because it certainly is not one of His. I need to strive to do “exceeding abundantly more”. This fact means I’ll have to make some decisions because I can’ t do everything and still do it to that level (abundantly more), I have to know what He’s called me to and strive to do it, best.