When Good Enough Is Not Enough
Have you ever come to the end of a project or yourself? Have you ever said that's good enough? It doesn't need to be perfect, just functional.
I say that a lot. Truth be told, I live in the tension between perfectionism and that's good enough. Maybe I prefer to keep it simple. Maybe I prefer the feeling of accomplishment over the spirit of "it's not done until it's done right."
In real everyday life, good enough sometimes works. Some of you may cringe, but getting close the cup and a half of coffee into the filter when I make the samples at the World Market is good enough. It's just coffee! No delicious creamer!
But in other things you need to be exact. Like building a house. Painting a wall. Measuring for a countertop. All things that an estimate of good enough is well, not quite enough.
I thought the same thing over a year ago when I resigned from my dream job to become an entrepreneur. I had no idea what I would be doing. But God did. After that first week and much praying, God laid it on my heart to start a writing business. You know, helping other businesses write their marketing pieces like websites, social media, brochures, newsletters and more.
Along the way, I got side-tracked. I started my coaching classes. I LOVED my coaching classes. I was changing. I was learning to love my life. I couldn't wait to share what I was learning with other women and help them walk in courageous faith and love their lives.
So I started a coaching business - good enough. Or rather, close enough to a writing business. I was still writing on my blog. I would still research ways to freelance write for websites and magazines. I was close to what God had told me to do. GOOD ENOUGH.
The coaching business has been going well. I have some individual clients. I have a good group of gals coming consistently to my group coaching sessions once a month. But to be honest, what I'm making is not paying the bills. And I've struggled with how to market myself and how to find those who need and want my services. It just needs more work.
A few months ago, when things got a little tough financially, God reminded me of the original plan. Start a writing business.
Good enough is not good enough when it comes to obeying God.
So I decided to start a writing business on top of the coaching business. Never mind the fact that I hadn't figured out owning and running my own business. Never mind that I still had no idea what I was doing. I will remind you that this is the year of NONSENSE. I am seeking to trust God even when He doesn't make sense.
Within weeks I landed my first writing client. Since then, I haven't marketed myself much. But through God's blessing and word of mouth, I have several new clients without trying. It turns out walking in full obedience with God pays off.
It reminds me of a recent conversation we had at our women's Bible study at church. We've been studying Seamless by Angie Smith. It's an overview of the BIble.
A few weeks ago we studied both the life of Moses and the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Two instances where God's people had good intentions and thought good enough was enough.
Moses, a man who met face to face with God, was given a clear directive. Numbers 20 describes God's directive, "Take the staff, you and your brother Aaron, and gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out water." Moses took his staff and in his anger struck the rock twice with the staff. Out came water. God took note of the details. Moses received the consequences of good enough: he would not bring Israel into the promised land.
Before we get too hard on Moses or God, I think we can relate. Israel was whining. Take us back to Egypt. We can't live. Blah, blah, blah. Moses, our hero, was a little irritated. Moses had reason for all the striking.
Our discussion at Bible study revolved around the idea that this seemed like a small transgression. Moses still gave God the glory and water poured forth. Essentially, what was the big deal with all the rock striking?
Numbers 20:12 explains as God tells Moses, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."
It's all about the trust people! And Scripture is clear: kind of obedient is not obedient in God's eyes. Take Uzzah, escorting the Ark to Jerusalem. He had good intentions of reaching out to stabilize the Ark. Instead, he was stuck dead. And while God may have wanted the Ark returned to His people, He wanted it done just as He prescribed - not on a cart pulled by oxen but carried on bars by his chosen priests. And NOT TOUCHED!
We can choose our take away here. We can take away that God has high expectations and fear His repercussions. But as we discussed in Bible study, I don't think that's the point. Uzzah died because He touched the Ark which held the glory of God - we can't touch Him without Jesus our mediator. No, both Moses and Uzzah and many others, reaped the consequences of obeying in part. Obeying good enough.
Our take away needs to be about full obedience out of love for God. God is a God of love and grace. But He is also a God of details. And good enough when it comes to obeying God comes with consequences. Typically, our consequences will not be as severe as Uzzah's, but we will still see the consequences of good enough.
God does not sit with a grade book checking off when we are fully obedient. But He knows that full obedience is what is best for us. Full obedience is when we experience His greatest plan for us. Full obedience starts with a heart of love for God over anything else.
When we choose the obedience of good enough, we miss out on what God has in store for us. And I am convinced that God for His part is not judging with his grade book, but is wooing us with HIs love to knit our hearts to His and want what He wants for us.
Today, where are you phoning it in with God? Is there anything God has asked of you that you have done - but not fully? Like Moses, is there anything that you are not trusting God with? And how can you embrace being fully obedient to what God has whispered in those still quiet moments?
One foot faith is to obedient because it follows the rules or is afraid of the consequences. One foot faith is fully obedient out of love and relationship with the living God. One foot faith chooses fully obedient over good enough. One foot faith allows God to woo them to His plan.
Choosing to say good enough is not enough with you....