Anne Lamott, wrote about writing in Bird by Bird, “you have to give the work before you all the best stuff you have, not saving up for later projects. If you give freely, there will always be more. This is a radical proposition that runs so contrary to human nature, or at least to my nature, that I personally keep trying to find loopholes in it. But it is only when I go ahead and decide to shoot my literary, creative, wad on a daily basis that I get any sense of full presence.”
This is true with all the things that are important to you: work, family, and volunteer acts. If we agree to do something, we need to give our full effort to it.
Good enough is not good enough, especially when we think in terms of what we give to God.
One of the biggest reasons that churches decline is that while a handful of people work very hard, the rest of its members offer half efforts, if that much. Their time, efforts, and financial gifts are the gnawed over leftovers.
Since the days of the Old Testament, God has made it very clear that He wants us to give our very best—the first fruits of our lives. He is displeased with anything less. “‘When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?’ says the LORD.” (Malachi 1:13)
I’m not trying to make us all neurotic perfectionists here. But I think it’s reasonable to ask for our best, however much that may be at the time.
God is clear that if we bring him our best, that He will bless us in return. That’s a pretty good deal because no one can outgive God.
“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’” (Malachi 3:10).