When do we know enough is enough? When should we push through? In our eagerness to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities, sometimes we struggle to tell the difference. Steph Nickel wisely walks us through the dilemma of knowing when to say enough is enough
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When Do We Know Enough is Enough?
Many of us have a difficult time saying no when asked to do something—even if we really don’t have enough time or energy to take on one more thing, no matter how small.
I wrote a briefer version of this post for my good friend author Janet Sketchley. She posted it on her blog, “Tenacity,” on Friday, April 27, 2018. I believe it’s a message we all need to hear.
As Christians, a whirlwind of thoughts may rush to mind when someone asks us to take on a task:
- What if this is an opportunity God has placed before me?
- What if I miss out on something He has for me?
- What if others miss out on a blessing if I don’t take this on?
- Am I not supposed to live sacrificially, putting other’s needs ahead of my own?
- If I have the ability to do what is being asked of me and there’s a need, isn’t that enough indication that I’m supposed to do it?
And what about those other questions and thoughts we may not verbalize?
- What will so and so think of me if I say no?
- Who will do it if I don’t?
- I’m supposed to go “the second mile.” Right?
- It really is nice to be needed.
- I’m glad they think I would do a good job.
Pushing Through and Realizing Enough is Enough
I’ve recently experienced the necessity to do both: to say enough and to push through. And I believe both decisions were the right ones to make at the time.
There were a number of reasons I didn’t get away on my annual writers’ retreat. However, I did deem the weekend a “staycation.” I didn’t clean the church or attend the Sunday service. I didn’t cook for my family and only cleaned the kitchen because I wanted to, not because I expected or required it of myself. I did some writing and reading I wouldn’t have done otherwise and headed out of the house with my laptop to do so out of my day-to-day environment.
I also vegged more than I possibly should have, but all in all, it was a very good weekend. I got some physical rest and some mental rest, which may have been even more important.
When Should We Rest and Recharge?
I know, for some of you, the thought of having a weekend, or even a day, like this, is out of the question—or at least you think it is. But sometimes, we simply need to rest and recharge. We also have to include what some call margins in our lives, blank spaces on our agenda to take a breather, to take on unexpected tasks we really must tend to, and to sit quietly before the Lord. If we don’t set aside time to dig deeply into the Scriptures, soak in the Truth we find there, pray, fellowship with other believers, and make the most of the opportunities that come our way to share the gospel, our schedule really is too full.
Saying Enough is Enough
Sometimes we need downtime, we need to say enough. At other times, we need to push through, no matter how tempting it is to hunker down and let the world go by, just for a while. Last week, my hubby generously shared his cold. I spent the day Tuesday down and out, sleeping and binge-watching Netflix. I didn’t have the ambition to do anything else. While I’m still fighting this virus, I was able to put in a full day Wednesday and Thursday and, as I write this, am facing another full day today.
This weekend promises to be a busy one. And although, settling in for some extra rest sounds like a great idea, I am so very thankful the Lord is giving me the wherewithal to focus on one task at a time and push through. Because this is not my natural tendency, there is absolutely no doubt that He deserves all the glory.
How To Decide
So, how can we tell when it’s right to decline a request and when we should step up?
Here are a few questions we may want to ask ourselves:
- Have I prayed about it?
- Will I be tempted to sacrifice my daily time with the Lord if I take on the project?
- Will it jeopardize my current responsibilities?
- Will it jeopardize my physical and/or emotional health?
- Will it be a “one and done” project or will it lead to a long-term commitment?
- How long will it actually take?
- Do I know someone else who would enjoy taking on this task?
- What is my real motivation to say yes?
- Is there someone who knows me well who will give me an honest and objective opinion as to whether I should take on what is being asked of me?
These are only a few of the questions we may want to consider before saying yes, but I believe the most important two questions are:
- Will I bring God glory by doing whatever it is?
- Will I bless others without neglecting those He has already entrusted to me?
Today let’s consider when we should push through and when it really is alright to say enough is enough.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.
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