Doing Your Best

I wonder, have you done your best for Jesus? I know that we live under all that grace nonsense now (my, how I miss a good old-fashioned stoning!) but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good guilt trip now and again about your works or lack thereof. Jesus is keeping score.

Did you waste a precious minute today? Did you spend ten minutes goofing off when you could have been praying? Did you need to eat at that restaurant (and leave no tract with your tip!) instead of giving the money to faith-promise missions? Obsess, my friend, obsess.

Never forget that God only values you for what you can do for Him. And by “Him” I mean me, of course. Do you have any experience driving a bus? No? What about using a toilet scrubber? Be careful or your wood, hay, and stubble will make quite the bonfire on judgment day.

You’ll never be good enough no matter how hard you try — so try harder! Have you done your best? The answer is always no. Now get back to work.

66 thoughts on “Doing Your Best”

  1. Praying IS goofing off! It’s not even meditation, which might actually do the brain some good. Every time there’s a disaster, there’s a pack of hypocrites loudly proclaim how they are going to pray for the victims. I hate these cheap, lazy-assed people. I have more respect for people who just shrug their shoulders and change the channel.

    You can’t win, anyway. If you actually go through the Bible and highlight every act or thought you can get sent to hell for, you’ll find that every single human is damned.

  2. @ nazani14, you’re right in a way: I do believe that we can’t win and we are damned – without Christ. But that’s the beauty of Jesus – He came and died for us so we could be forgiven. His grace frees us so we can live in joy, knowing we’re accepted by God. And while I do believe that prayer changes things, the Bible specifically says that if we see someone in need and simply say, “God in peace. Be filled” (like a blessing) but DON’T help them, our faith is vain.

  3. This shirt should be in the SFL store.

    Now I’m going to have the song “Have I Done My Best for Jesus?” in my head. Thanks for that Darrell.

    In all seriousness, this is a great post. Even though I’ve been out of the IFB arena for 8 years, I still fall into this trap. Always feeling guilty because I should’ve done more.

  4. @Don, When I do attend church, I attend a very warm and accepting place. They refer to their service as the “party on Sunday.” They have a couple kiosks in the back if you want to give, and everyone is welcome no matter what they wear. They have a lot of bikers that come and love it there. My friend invited her gay neighbor and his partner, and they said it was the best church they’d ever attended. It is ALL about God’s love there. No one seems to have a Holy Spirit complex. So. . .next time someone like your “friend” approaches you, tell him you prefer to minister to those who need to see you dressed casually in order to feel brave enough to attend. If you’re feeling really snarky you could mention that his pride problem is showing, just like a slip! Oops! :D

    @Pastor’s Wife–Another hymn that shouldn’t be used anymore is “Am I a Soldier of the Cross”. When I used to hear the second verse, “must I be carried to the cross on flowery beds of ease?” In my head I’d always think, well, yes, I’d actually prefer that to bloody seas!! : ) It was written in the 1790’s, so it’s a bit dated. LOL.

  5. This was one of THE top reasons I left the big business hamster wheel that is Christianity. I’m in the same boat as Pita. I was not raised IFB, but the handful of years I spent under it’s depressing umbrella of failure were enough to stick with me forever. I’m free now but I sure wish I could get all that time back…time I spent feeling like a complete failure, and that I was going to have a heart attack out of guilt at age 28 just for listening to Dire Straits.

  6. In the fundy church I used to attend, my youth minister tried to get all of us who had “surrendered to the ministry” to wear large pieces of paper with bible verses on them on our shirts to school, even though there was a very strict uniform code against anythingn of that sort. That youth pastor claimed that he knew of no such rule and that anyone who got in trouble by the administration could argue that our religious “rights” were being violated. It clearly stated in my schools handbook that students didnt have rights of speech or anyting like that at school, like at any public school. The no bible verse shirt rule was really a no any kind of distracting sign rule. When I refused to do as we were instructed and showed up to school without my bible verse sign all those in my youth group and my youth pastor accused me of not being faithful and not serving God fullu. All those who refused to take off the signs were suspended and thier school records ruined, some of them even denied schalarships, but they made a “brave sacrifice” and I was just a coward who didnt trust God. It amazing how a church can claim to want to get you closer to God and provide fellowship, but at the first sign of question will socially isolate you.I still feel myself getting angry about it, although I have made peace with most involved.

  7. @pastor’s wife: Thank you so much for posting what your husband said. I wasn’t raised fundy but I’m a PCC grad and even growing up I’ve been beating myself to death for not pleasing God with my life, never being holy. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t pray anymore cuz I don’t deserve the privelege. Course, if I started praying again cuz I thought I had finally “arrived” spiritually then I’d have another problem wouldn’t I?
    Anyway, thanks for reminding me of what I’ve known all along. It’s just so hard to grasp that kind of acceptance and love. Even though I’ve been saved since I was 5.

  8. @ Jonsgrl, I always think about the prodigal son. The older brother would’ve probably kept him a servant when he returned. But the father accepted him with open arms and gave me a party! God is NOT the older brother; He’s the Father! He doesn’t want you in the pigpen. He doesn’t even want you as hired help. He wants you as His beloved child! I LOVE that parable. But I too still struggle with it even though I know it intellectually.

  9. Darrell, I find your comments more than a little sad. Sorry that you seem to so misunderstand grace and service for Christ. (Or, if the comments are simply meant in jest, you have trivialized matters of eternal importance.) Serving the Lord requires personal effort, but always with the recognition that it is by the grace of God that we can do so (II Cor. 3:5; Col. 1:29).

  10. I wish this topic could be brought back up to the top so this reply and all the rest of them wouldn’t be hidden from view forevermore. This is the worst thing about the IFB if you ask me. This is why we left our last church. Never good enough never good enough never good enough! Ad naseum! No matter how hard you work no matter what you do, it’s never enough? Faithful at teaching the class he gave you that you didn’t want, not good enough! You’re supposed to bring treats every week too. You’re supposed to visit and call them every week too.

    You’re late to church because the people you’re picking up were not ready when you got there and you had to wait for them? no excuses for tardiness allowed! Somehow it’s your fault and you have to try harder!

    You missed soul winning because you weren’t feeling up to it? My wife (the pastor said) has been having sinus problems all week and feels like crap but she went! What’s wrong with YOU? You’re just not spiritual!

    You don’t like my hour plus long sermons? What’s wrong with you? You say your bladder’s bursting and you need to use the ladies’ room? Your husband’s a diabetic who needs to eat on time? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know MY SERMONS are more important than your husband’s health and it won’t kill you to hold it a while! You’re just not SPIRITUAL and you need to get your HEART RIGHT WITH GOD! That’s what your REAL problem is, not your humanity!

    I’m so glad to be out of that place! So glad so glad! :mrgreen:

    1. Thirty years ago, my late mother had a pastor who droned on and on for ninety minutes every Sunday. He SCREAMED at those who complained that oh, yes, it was FINE for them to watch a FOOTBALL game for that long, but they could not give that same length of time to God! Well, buddy-o, he was not God. He was someone who just loved controlling a small crowd for too long, with nothing really interesting to say. I hear you, Macushlalondra. One was never ever going to be quite good enough. :roll: :evil:

      1. My dad’s church was like this. My dad always felt that his 90 minute, nonsensical rants were more important than anything else. Once, while I was taking meds that made me sick constantly, I slipped out the back to go to the bathroom and be sick. I had to listen to him go on and on about that for the rest of the day, about how my selfishness may have just sent someone to Hell. When my mom was first diagnosed with lupus, we had 16 ministries in the church and she was supposed to be involved in every one of them. She delegated to me and my sisters as much as possible, but it just wasn’t “good enough”. She would spend every waking minute at church or doing church things, otherwise, she was in the bed, and my dad was still mad at her.
        This reminds me of my current school as well. We just got yelled at in staff meeting that it is our sacred duty to keep our classrooms clean and that if even our windows are dirty, it is not honoring to God and makes the pastor mad. This was promptly followed up by the announcement that the school was no longer buying windex and that we should use SOAP from the bathroom to clean our windows! If dirty windows are the worst thing I’m doing, I’ve done a really good job.
        Ok, thanks for the rant. This particular topic is just so annoying to me – Fundy thinking in a nutshell.

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