How’s your to-do list? If you are like many people who desire to serve Jesus in what they do, your list is long, perhaps even unmanageable, and it is filled with many good, even excellent things that you could be doing. It becomes overwhelming and frustrating, to say the least. As I deal with church professionals, I often hear the complaint that there’s not enough time to do everything that needs to be done.

Perhaps that’s because our lists are filled with many things—many excellent things—that we could do. But perhaps not everything is something that we should do. Take the example of Jesus. He did NOT do everything he could have. He didn’t heal everyone that he could have. He didn’t feed everyone that he could have. He didn’t speak to everyone, listen to everyone, or attend every gathering that he could have. Many of the things he didn’t do may have been very good, even excellent. Imagine the difference healing from blindness would have made in another blind person’s life—one he didn’t choose to heal.

But Jesus most definitely did everything that he should have (and perfectly, I might add). Jesus was perfectly focused on the purpose for which he came to this earth—the redemption of humankind. Everything that he did served that purpose, including, incidentally, withdrawing from people for a while to go to a quiet place to pray.

A mentor of mine told me a number of years ago to give up trying to do good or excellent things. He said that I needed to figure out what was critical and do only that. As the saying goes, “The good is ever the enemy of the best.” Perhaps his followers could take a grace-filled lesson from Jesus’ example. There are many good and excellent things that we could do. But what are the things we really should do to fulfill God’s unique calling on our lives?

By: Rev. Jon Braunersreuther
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area D