Reading the passage caused me to look at my life and ask if what I'm currently doing is really enough. Am I doing enough to shine His light and love in our broken city? Our broken world?
After a lot of prayer, scripture reading, and some wonderful feedback from friends, the answer is: yes...and no.
I'll try my best to explain.
I listed three areas of my life in which I feel like I minister to people (writing, Thrive, and volunteering for FamilyLife®. If you compare these things to what some other people are doing, it seems like a lot...and in comparison to others, it's a drop in the proverbial bucket.
And that's why comparing yourself to others is BAD NEWS. It almost always leads to prideful thinking (for more on that, you can read this post I wrote a couple years ago on the Carnality of Comparisons).
However, in this particular instance, it wasn't other people to whom I was comparing myself, but the Word of God. He said we should:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives that need your help.
I looked at that as though it was an exhaustive list. I can be so literal. I wanted to look at it and say, I'm doing stuff, but if I'm not doing EXACTLY this stuff, then I'm not doing enough.
Ya see what I did there? I made it about me.
Duh...He just has to keep teaching me...over and over and over.
It's not about me. His desire for me is to SEEK HIM: daily, on my knees, in my heart, all the time.
That's really what it's all about. I'm a busy mommy, a pregnant mommy, and my home IS my first ministry. The "list" of my current activities is absolutely fine given my current situation. I have consulted both God and my husband on the matter, and both of them have said to me: this is enough.
And it is...sort of.
My activities "list" is currently enough, but my heart is not in the right place "enough." When I go out into the world, peruse facebook, or spend time with my family and friends, am I praying continually that God will show me how to minister to people in His time and in His way?
No...not nearly as much as I should.
My mind and heart are continually drawn to the distractions of this world, and I often forget to truly SEE people...the way God sees them. In that way, my efforts are mediocre, at best.
Last night in a business call, my wonderful friend Missy said we should have on our "Thrive" ears...always be listening for opportunities to share Thrive with people whose lives could be dramatically changed by it. God spoke to me through that and said: That's what I want from you, Alissa. Except, I want you to constantly have on your PEOPLE eyes and ears.
He wants me to see and hear the needs of people and be open to filling those needs as HIS Spirit leads. Does someone need a word of encouragement? Does someone need prayer? Does someone need something material that I could provide? Does someone need Thrive?
There's an endless list of things people might need, and the only way for me to ensure that I'm doing "enough" is to ensure that I'm constantly tapped into the Spirit of God within me and truly open to and observant of the people around me.
As if to solidify this, God simplified things by showing me this last night:
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Jesus said it and God says it over and over...we just like to complicate it: Love God, Love People.
Love God: pursue righteousness
Love people: pursue unfailing love
It's really that simple. Love God. Love people. THAT is enough.