“Haven’t I done enough?”
“When will it be enough?”
“It is never enough for you.”
For some people, it will never be enough. Everything you do. Everything you sacrifice. You plan, you work, you give, you do everything you can do for the better…for the change…
And they don’t appreciate it. They want more. They don’t change. They don’t respond.
And could somebody just notice what you have done? If they could only see the list of things you have done on their behalf. There are things they don’t even know about.
Do you feel that bitterness, sadness, regret, anger, or even the utter uselessness of your effort?
If you are thinking those things above, then you have it all wrong.
If you endeavored to “do all these things” to get a result from a person or group of people, you did it wrong.
Somewhere along the line you wanted something. You wanted someone or something to change. You wanted progress. So you did something about it. You may even be the best darn doer of good there is. You may be a chief sacrificer. You might have worked yourself way too hard. And the result did not please you.
Imagine yourself on the other side of that. Has anyone ever said to you “When will it ever be enough for you?”. I’m sure they found your lack of appreciation to stink in the midst of all their goodness. They wanted their efforts to be enough to make you into what they wanted.
I just happen to be a mom who wants my kids to turn out good. I want them to grow and mature and change from selfish snotty toddlers into adults that are better than me. And what about your situation? You want a certain result, so you do everything in your power to make it happen. And it doesn’t. And you either blame the people you were trying to change, or you sulk in a corner and believe that you are not enough. Your not. You are not enough. Nothing you do is enough.
Because you are doing it wrong.
I understand that urge to throw yourself into making things better…for everyone. I understand the sacrifice you want to make for the results. I understand all the lofty goals and good things you want to do to bring about change. I get it!
But your heart is not right.
Because if you have feelings that people around you need change, the best change for them is you. Your heart. Not your good deeds or plans or programs. Your changed heart and your influence.
But I’m thinking that you don’t believe that yet. You don’t think you could be part of the problem. Or at least you don’t think you should have to change when the BIGGER problems around you should be addressed first. Especially if you are in the place of authority. Like me and my kids. I’m the Mom. They clearly have behavior modifications that need to be adjusted prior to adulthood. What would I need to change for?
Currently your action plan is from a heart that doesn’t like what it sees and wants it to change. And likely for your own benefit. You want something. That heart is trying to coerce change. Coerce change with big plans and good deeds. I want my kids to grow up into awesome adults, but if I am truly honest, it is so that today I can have peace and quiet, and they will do everything I say…my life is easier!
If you are upset with the results of your plan to change others, you can be sure that your motivations came partly from selfish needs, and in fact may be masking something that you needed to change in yourself first.
Example: “I yell at my children because they don’t obey.” Hmm. [yes, okay, this is one of mine] So, MAKE them obey, right? Obeying is the RIGHT thing (I’m right.), so I need to change them. So I should set up ways to help this problem: Discipline them; Be consistent. They must obey and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen!
Or…stop yelling Jill. Maybe start with that. Yeah.
I stopped thinking about solving the problems with everyone else, and started letting God look at my heart, and listen to what He had to say about that.
The only thing to do, the only action step to make in changing others, is to let God change you.
Seeking God to change ME is a lengthy, arduous task. It is a somber journey, on a heavily wooded, dimly lit path where I cannot see ahead. But on that journey, I feel safe and right, because I feel led by my Father.
If something is not right in your world, look inward. Find thoughts, habits, or ways you treat people that God might find not His favorite. Let yourself think of the things you do that you are not proud of. Think hard on anything that anyone says about you that you don’t like. Make time for better habits. Examine yourself. You will know what things that God wants you to work on.
That will be harder work than all the plans and programs you had to change other people.
Here is what happens:
Instead of doing all the things and expecting something for it, you will be doing the things God ordained for you to do, and it will feel both freeing and fulfilling. Instead of complaining about what people aren’t doing, you find ways to praise and talk about what they are doing. Instead of being the nagging parent that needs to straighten them out, you become the humble parent who they come to when they are in need.
You will be enough for what God asks of you.