My herb garden had a few problems last year. When your perennial rosemary cannot seem to top six inches and all of your super-easy-to-grow basil and parsley die despite watering and fertilizing, you begin to suspect it has more to do with the ground than the color of your thumb.
So Keith spent a weekend recently digging out the whole bed. Then he bought landscaping timbers, Miracle-Gro garden soil and Black Kow composted manure to fill it with. This bed will grow in spite of itself, yet I could not help but think, “Ninety dollars for dirt!”
“No,” he told me, “ninety dollars for all those better meals we will eat due to the flavoring and nuance of home-grown fresh herbs—plenty for a change, instead of a rationed amount.”
My old herb garden was good enough. We ate a lot of good meals out of it, but it was beginning to falter. It needed a little help to improve.
Too many times we are satisfied with “good enough” in our lives as Christians. The number of times we meet with our brethren, the amount of time we spend studying and praying, the amount we give in both time and money to spread the Gospel and to help those in need may very well be “good enough.” I am not one of those to take the passage “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him that is sin,” and use it as a hammer to pound feelings of fear and inadequacy into people who are doing their best.
So you stopped your Bible study last night after just an hour so you could play with your children awhile. You know what? That is okay.
So you missed Sunday evening services this week because your widowed mother is gravely ill and it’s your only chance to take a turn sitting with her. That is fine. Our choices are not always between good and bad, but between good and better, and it is an individual decision you must make for yourself. No one has the right to judge.
In fact, you may indeed be doing as much as you possibly can. The problem is the attitude that looks for nothing more than “good enough.” When one has that attitude, he isn’t.
As Christians we are slaves to God, we are living sacrifices. Neither of those words gives us the right to decide that “enough is enough.” We are always looking for ways to improve ourselves, for ways to grow, for ways to become more and more like God. That might mean that we must do a lot of extra work here and there (like a slave), and spend more in time and resources (like a sacrifice) in order to improve. But slaves want to please their masters more than themselves, and sacrifices are not sacrifices if they are cheap and easy. We don’t want to be “good enough;” we want to be the best!
Even so you also, when you shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do. Luke 17:10.