Christine Duncan

Love, Laughter, Life Preservers

Your Best Offered

There was a day not all that long ago when verses like Colossians 3:23 made me cringe.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people…”

Or 2 Timothy 2:15. Or Colossians 3:23, 24. And Ecclesiastes 9:10.

And… the message was clear. Whatever you do, be sure it’s your absolute best! 

I’d read verses extolling the virtues of giving my all, doing everything as unto the Lord, and immediately feel shame and defeat.

Because for a long time, my best could only be viewed through the lens of one weary with a medical disorder.

And when you spend every day with something like chronic depression, and simply feeling lousy at any given moment, one’s best doesn’t feel like the best of anything.

It feels like the worst is all you have to offer.

And what is God supposed to do with our worst?

Maybe you’ve been there.

Maybe it isn’t dysthymic disorder. Maybe it’s another illness that drains you. Maybe it’s the employment you can’t seem to find. Maybe it’s the relationships you can’t seem to keep. Maybe it’s a heartache that swamps every bit of life in you.

Whatever it is that simply makes you feel less of you, it keeps reminding you that your best hasn’t been up to snuff. And eventually we can start giving up hope that we’ll ever measure up the way everyone else surely does.

And so for years, I missed the whole point.

Without being truly conscious of it I did two things that kept me from His peace and grace.

1.  Unwittingly, I Made God into a Sort of Task Master. This must have caused Him just a little anguish, for He’s nothing, nothing of the kind. But we place Him there when we misinterpret the giving of ourselves to Him, and everything we think we’re incapable of doing.

I saw those verses and resented that I had, in my mind, nothing to offer. That my moods were a shambles, my life one big pretending act of fine, and how do you give your best to anything when you already feel spent.

2. I Assumed There Was a Standard “Best” I Could Never Reach. “Lord, I’d do everything as unto You, but today my best was simply that I got dressed, then sat and stared at the walls. What a laugh right? I’m so sorry. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a chance to give you the best. Maybe tomorrow I’ll invent something clever. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be super mom. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you what awesome work looks like.”

No wonder there were days my chronic D would win! First, I had believed my best was supposed to measure up to someone elses. But second, I had believed there wasn’t any goodness to my present. That only the worst was still portioned out to me.

Time to hear something fabulous.

Our best, in these verses, is founded only on His loving grace and our obedience.

His loving grace. Our obedience.

Nothing else.

Want to enter a famous story?

Come with me for a second, put some ancient Bible era robes on, and bring your poorest, most fought-for efforts that you think aren’t offering worthy.

Bring your small victory of getting out of bed that’s so normal for anyone else.

Bring your effort to make amends for the hundredth time and still isn’t pretty to think about.

Bring your tiny choice to put your difficult teenager first, even though it feels like too little too late.

Bring all the botched attempts to really study the Word, that you only barely got truth from and then struggled hard, so hard, to implement.

Bring all those things the enemy is lying to you about and declared you worthless over. And place them before Him.

Because God sees those things with a glorious lens of priceless worth…

“Now Jesus sat across from the local treasury, watching people put in their money. And those who were rich put in much.
But then one poor woman came forward, and put in her two small pennies. And Jesus called His disciples to Him eagerly, and said to them, “Did you see that? That poor woman has given better than all those who gave here, they easily gave from their abundance, but she gave out of her poverty, all that she had in her life!” Mark 12:41-44

He knows that the best you have to give him might be all you can muster up in life. And it thrills Him that you would bring it to him!

Your best, specific to you, gets His attention. Period.

He watches us give all these poor, small, much-fought-for efforts and tiny victories, and in His lens of loving grace and generosity they become hefty, worthwhile, offerings of obedience.

Wait, it still makes me jump around on the couch for a minute.

How good is our God?! So good that He sees the valleys that plunge and the heights too high on any given day and He says, “It’s okay. I just want whatever your best looks like in this moment. And my grace and love will transform it. Into the best thing I could ever ask for. Your generosity, even while in need, is a treasured sign that you chose Me.”

The minute I learned this, the lies faded and the joy swept in.

I was not the worst believer ever.

I was watched over. I could offer my best for real. And I was rich in Him. And in Him there’s no condemnation. No shame.

And it’s true for us all.

It’s okay, I’ll wait while you go jump around on your couch like a little kid for a minute. Cause it’s that good.

He’s that good.

Whatever it looks like today, bring your best offering, it’s about to become so much more in the Presence of the One who Treasures.

It’s the best offer we’ll ever have.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today’s post is so glad to link up with Suzie Eller and #livefreeThursday  and the Beloved Brews with Bonnie Gray, where you’ll find a ton of talented and encouraging bloggers!

beloved_brews_faithbarista_badge

23 Comments

  1. Oh Christine…. “First, I had believed my best was supposed to measure up to someone elses. But second, I had believed there wasn’t any goodness to my present.” I have so lived through this! Why or why do we compare our kingdom work to someone else’s?

    Thank you for your inspirational words today!
    Linked up with Suzie today also.
    Blessings

    • Christine Duncan

      March 5, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Aw, thanks for visiting Jana!!! The enemy is so practiced at feeding us the wrong thoughts, manipulating truth, disguising intent… and I think sometimes it’s right when we’re at our most weary. And we let it bring us down. But not today, amen? 🙂 Blessings upon blessing for you today, Jana!

  2. Marie Bilston

    March 5, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Can you see me jumping?????? lol

  3. Christine, Yes, I’m jumping up and down on my couch! What a breath of fresh air your post was for me today! How very insightful! How very wonderful! You are indeed his #beloved!

    • Christine Duncan

      March 5, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      LOL… you’re awesome, Ellen! Glad to hear it! We serve a great God who is in the business of amazing transformation, don’t we? So honored to be called one of His #beloved alongside you, sweet friend 🙂

  4. Thanks! I loved and needed this today!

    • Christine Duncan

      March 5, 2015 at 5:32 PM

      Stacy, thanks so much! Love connecting with other bloggers 🙂 Have a wonderful day in Him!!!

  5. I love this post so much. Thanks for the beautiful reminder to.. of how we can live knowing Jesus sees us through such a glorious lens of worth. love your writing. Glad I stopped by new friend 🙂

    • Christine Duncan

      March 5, 2015 at 5:52 PM

      Hey, thanks Jenn, it’s always a good day when new friends are made! So exciting 🙂 Really loved your blog this morning, too! Looking forward to staying connected…

  6. Love this! When you are doing your best and seems that it is not good enough is good way to feel defeated. Thank God he delivered us from all of this negativity with His gift of grace and mercy.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 5, 2015 at 6:19 PM

      I love your description… that He delivers us from it with His grace and mercy. That makes me smile! Thanks so much, Mary, it’s always wonderful to read your words!!! I hope you’re having a terrific day! Thanks for visiting 🙂

  7. Yes, Christine God is all what you described and more. I can identify with your struggles and how your depression play havoc on your relationship with Him. My alcohol abuse did the same for me. We both know His deliverance is powerful and that He knew we tried. God is pleased when we fail and continue seeking His will in our lives. Thanks for a beautiful share.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 6, 2015 at 12:22 AM

      You’re so right, Walter. His deliverance IS powerful. Amen. Going to continue seeking, for when we seek Him with all our hearts, we find everything we need. So glad to have you stop by, my friend!

  8. Christine – such great words. I often feel I do not bring my best, but my leftovers. There are days I feel like I have nothing to give. Your words remind me of that very important truth – if I give myself to the Lord – no matter what state “myself” might be in today – I give my best.
    Blessings! Denise
    popping in from #livefreeThursday 🙂

    • Christine Duncan

      March 6, 2015 at 12:26 AM

      To be honest, I found myself in “leftover” mode for a bit today… so I had to read my own words back to myself, lol. Thankful for a God who never gives up on us!
      So glad to have connected today, Denise. I really appreciate it! Lord bless!

  9. I have fallen a little behind on reading as many blog posts as I’d like lately because things have been a bit overwhelming here, so I’m glad to have read this today. I’ve been missing your work and this is just what I needed after such a stressful week. You always know just what to write to reach my heart and I appreciate that you allow God to use you as a willing vessel of encouragement to others. I hope you are doing well. God bless, Christine!

    • Christine Duncan

      March 6, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      Praying you get to find some wonderful rest for your weekend, Kristi. Mine’s just gearing up to be my busiest week this year, starting tomorrow.
      It’s frustrating to be overwhelmed, so draining, and if you’re like me, sometimes I start feeling like it’ll never end. Makes me glad knowing He takes our efforts and counts them as rich when we’re alive in Him. I have to live there in that thought, more and more often it seems.
      Sooo happy to hear from you, girl, sister bloggers sticking together! Love ya!

  10. This is a thoughtful and helpful post. I’m your neighbor at CBCE.

  11. Christine,
    I have been in bed all week due to a Myasthenia Gravis flare-up. The Holy Spirit used this post to renew my joy. Thank you for being real, raw, and relevant!

  12. What a beautiful post, Christine. I am just now starting to understand that it’s not what I offer to the Lord that He sees as precious, it’s offering myself. He desires us–not things. And not our work. He just wants us to walk through life with Him…one step at a time. One obedient step at a time. And each and every step walking by His side is a victory. Praying your days are full of joy and sweet fellowship with the One who loves us most. So glad I stopped in to visit. Blessings to you!

  13. Yes, Amen Sister! Jesus is the great multiplier. We bring him our little, and He makes it much. So enjoyed your post today. Brought me to tears.
    Jenni

    • Christine Duncan

      March 10, 2015 at 6:03 PM

      Thanks Jenni!!! I get a little emotional just writing some of these, He definitely speaks to my heart the whole time. Very glad to have you visit today 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2019 Christine Duncan

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: