Not Being Able to Do It All | Kevin DeYoung

August 26, 2009 — Leave a comment

From Kevin DeYoung’s post On Mission, Changing the World, and Not Being Able to Do It All:

Maybe it’s because I’m Type A or left brained or a beaver or an ESTJ or a good pastor or a people-pleasing sinner, but I often feel like I could, perhaps should, be doing more. I could do more evangelism. I could pray more. I could invite people over for dinner more. Because of this tendency I actually prefer the “do not” commands of Scripture. “Do not commit adultery”–that’s tough if you take the whole lust thing into account. Obeying this command requires prayer, accountability, repentance, and grace. But it doesn’t require me to start a non-profit or spend another evening away from my family. I just (just!) need to put to death the deeds of the flesh, die to myself and live to Christ.

Not committing adultery is, of course, easier said than done, but the command doesn’t overwhelm me. Changing the world, doing something about the global AIDS crisis, tackling homelessness–those things overwhelm me. What can I do? Where do I start? How will I find the time? I have four small kids, a full-time job, I give much more than 10% away to Christian causes, I try to share Jesus with my neighbors, I pray with my kids before bed, I’m trying to be a better husband. So is it possible, just possible, that God is not asking me to do anything about sex trafficking right now?

Before you think I’m a total nut-job and scream “physician heal thyself”, let me hasten to add: I do understand the gospel. I know that all this talk of what I should be doing or could be doing is not healthy. I know that. And I’m really doing fine. I’m not on the verge of burnout or breakdown or anything like that. Most days I don’t feel guilty about all the stuff I’m not doing. But that’s only because I’ve learned to ignore a lot of things well-meaning Christians say or write. I’m only 32 and already I’m worn out by urgent calls to transform the culture or rid the world of hunger or usher in an age or world peace. I’m not a cynic, at least I hope not. I just realize there is only so much I can do. I also realize that right now that my main work is to lead my family, shepherd my church, and preach faithful sermons. If I do these things, by God’s grace, and grow in one more degree of glory this week (again, by God’s grace), should I still feel guilty for all that I’m not doing in the world?

This deeply ministered to me today…please read the whole article, especially you who are prone to taking the weight of the world on your shoulders!

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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