April 16: Only do what…

Read Acts 6:1-7

“Only do what only you can do.”

Perhaps you have heard that catchy phrase somewhere along the way.  As near as I could tell, it is a principle that has been widely circulated in the management/leadership world.

The principle is a good one, but it is not always practical.  After all, there are certain things that virtually everyone can do.  If everyone chose not to do those tasks, they would not be done by anyone.  In its extreme form, I suppose a person could use this principle to develop a type of prideful elitism where certain responsibilities are below them.  Besides, Jesus reminds us that true greatness is reflected in servanthood (Mk. 9:35).

On the other hand, much of our busyness, stress, and exhaustion stems from the fact that we are trying to do too much.  Perhaps we could edit the catchy phrase to say, “Only do what only you should do.”

The early apostles give us a great example of this.  The first church had grown quickly to well over 5,000 (Acts 4:4).  But some challenges were starting to arise.  Ananias and Sapphira were caught in a lie and died because of it (Acts 5:1-11).  And now, in Acts 6, deficiencies in the early church’s version of “meals on wheels” were rising to the surface.  The need was a real one.  God’s heart for widows is unmistakable (Js. 1:27), and yet some of these ladies were being overlooked.  But, interestingly enough, as the apostles became aware of the need, they said, “Not us!”

They were not saying that they were above such a task.  No, their “no” came from the recognition that taking on such a task would force them to ignore their real calling.  They were choosing to only do what only they should do.

With the myriad of opportunities you have to take on more tasks, here is a question that the apostles seemed to understand:

“Will taking on this responsibility prevent me from giving proper attention to my real calling and strength?”

Chances are, you should have asked yourself that question yesterday.  My guess is you will be well served by asking that question today.

RELATED RESOURCES

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson

The Problem With Perfectionism an article by Rick Warren

Breakthrough Busyness by Nick Cleveland

The Best Yes: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst

sbk

About sbk

I am a follower of Jesus. I've been blessed with 31 years of marriage to my best friend, Celeste. We have two adult sons, two daughters-in-law, a daughter in high school, and a grandson. I am part of an awesome family of God: Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio. www.woostergrace.org
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