Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Never Enough

Have you ever felt like no matter what you ever did, it wasn’t enough? Maybe you poured your heart into something, only to have nobody recognize your efforts. Isn’t it frustrating to think you have done the right things, but find out that your efforts were not enough to satisfy others?

It is not uncommon to feel this way when dealing with other human beings. Most of the time, people have expectations of us that are based on their own needs and desires. Many times we try to satisfy those needs, only to find that we misinterpreted the expectations held by the other person. We act as we think we should, but what we think is right, may not be what is truly needed in the situation.

This week, I read about a woman in San Antonio, Texas, who got an unexpected bill from her electric and gas company. The bill arrived in the mail as it usually did, but when she opened it, she thought it was a joke. The bill was for $8,000.00.

Thinking there must have been an error on the part of the company, she went to check it out. She was informed that there was no error. Since she had never failed to pay her bill in full, and on time, each month, she was especially perplexed by the situation.

It seems that in 2005, a new meter was installed on her house. An office employee erroneously entered a 0, when a 1 should have been entered in the system for the new meter. As a result, the customer has only been charged for natural gas and baseline electrical service. Since 2005, she had not been charged for the electricity she used. Because most people only look at the bottom line of what they owe each month, she only paid that amount. The customer was quoted as saying, “You trust that whatever they send you, whatever that amount is, that's your bill.”

This customer had great intentions and was even pretty confident in her ability to do the right thing. However, even in her diligence to make sure her bill was paid in full each month, she still came up short. It wasn’t enough just to “be good and responsible.” She needed more.

How many people truly read the scriptures? How many of us simply look for a “bottom line” in our Bibles? We like hearing that all we have to do is believe that Jesus died and rose again to save us from our sins. That seems very easy to do. However, there is more.

The woman in San Antonio has recently realized that she should have been more familiar with the electric bill. She should have known how to read it and understand it. If she had, she would have known there was an error in the amount she was being billed. However, I’m sure the bill was less than it had been in the past. Sometimes we only see what seems to be advantageous to us at the time. We see what we want to see.

Much of the time, we treat the scriptures the same way. We pick and choose the parts we like and think we can adhere to, but ignore the passages that are hard for us to understand or seem too difficult to obey. For example, most people enjoy knowing that God forgives us, but aren’t comfortable with the scripture that teaches, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV) You mean I have to forgive others in order to be forgiven? I’ll just ignore that teaching and stick with, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

We may think we are a good person. We may believe we are as close to being right with God as anyone can be. We may believe we have it all figured out. However, there is always more. We will never reach perfection until we get to Heaven. On this side of our heavenly home, we must always keep seeking God in our lives and looking to Him for guidance. Read your Bible each day. Pray to the Father for His will in your life. Do what He asks and go where He leads. Don’t just come close, go the whole distance!

“Comin’ as close to the truth as a man can come without actually gettin’ there is coming close, but it still ain’t the truth.” Texas Bix Bender

Now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24 NIV)

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