For a while now, I’ve struggled with a particular temptation, and it’s likely not what you think. It’s a temptation that a lot of Christians actually brag about, and it easily disguises itself as holy. It’s the temptation to do too many good things.
I don’t know about you, but I regularly have guilty feelings of not doing enough. Am I serving enough? Am I loving enough? Am I exercising enough? Am I giving enough? Am I reading enough? Am I good enough?
There’s nothing wrong with those questions, and you should be asking them, but the problem is that we’re so afraid to answer “yes” to them. Often, we conclude that we’re not doing enough, and a false guilt overtakes us. This false guilt then causes us to do more and more to remedy this situation, only to find ourselves spiraling towards burnout. In our pursuit of more, we often end up doing a lot less of the things that matter.
I’ve witnessed in myself and others how a pursuit of “more” ends up making us feel empty. We find ourselves so busy “doing good” that we ignore our health, our friends, our family—and even our Heavenly Father.
Whenever I find myself getting overwhelmed by the temptation to do “more”, I end up coming back to this passage in Scripture:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Unforced rhythms of grace. Living freely and lightly.
I don’t know about you, but in this season of my life that’s what I desperately need. Unforced rhythms filled with grace. I don’t need more, I need less. And that’s okay. Jesus is okay with that, I’m learning. It doesn’t make you or I bad Christians to acknowledge that we need might to to step away from some things, people, and projects for season to relearn these rhythms of grace.
I hope this season for you is full of grace and unforced rhythms, and I hope, like me, you’ll begin to rediscover your faith and your soul in the process.