Purposeful Faith

Doing Less in Order to Gain More

Doing less
Post by: Katie M. Reid

Do more, be more.

You’re not enough, you must work harder.

Do more, be more.

You have value if you produce.

Do more, be more.

You are worthy if you succeed.

These are the chants I live by.

Tightly-wound tendencies, cultural demands, and lies from the pit—that’s what they are.

When I listen, which is far too often, I get stuck in a pattern of striving, driving, and running out of gas. I get cranky, I don’t get enough sleep, and I’m left feeling discouraged.

I’m on a vicious cycle straight towards burnout when I live this way.

My brother Brian has Down Syndrome. He has great purpose even if he can’t contribute to society in typical ways. He lives a simple life. His routine is quite structured and predictable.

Brian is a gift. He knows when to give a timely word like, “You’re great,” or “I love you-oo”.

Brian also has a knack for picking out just the right Scripture that summarizes the sermon being preached. Just the other day, as the pastor was speaking about not giving up, Brain quickly turned to Isaiah 40:31:

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -NLT

Brian doesn’t have to work harder to be deemed enough. So, why does his big sis struggle to apply what she believes is true about him?

I feel handicapped in my ability to change. My head listens to the lies and yet my heart knows the truth. Somewhere between the short distance from brain to heart I have lost the ability to grasp grace. I have exchanged dependence for self-reliance. I keep trying to do more and be more so that I feel like enough, valuable, and worthy.

So the other day, I finally said, Okay God, I can’t make these changes on my own. I feel helpless. I do what I don’t want to do, but I can’t seem to find my way out of this unhealthy pattern. Would You please help me?

It seemed that Jesus responded with a knowing smile and something like this, Well, My child, it’s about time you acknowledged that you can’t do this without My help. Now we can make real progress.

You see, self-sufficiency is my go-to sin that doesn’t usually work out so well. I try and try and try a little harder but I eventually end up ready to give up…and then I go to Jesus for help—realizing that I don’t really have what it takes.

Why do I wait to give the S.O.S until it’s too much? Why don’t I go to Jesus first and admit my need?

We often have a false perception that we can handle it, manage it, and produce it on our own strength, intellect, and know-how. But He is truly the Sufficient and Capable One.

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

-Matt Maher, Lord I Need You

We are studying the book of Matthew in Bible study this semester and it struck me how Jesus was led by the Spirit. He was also intentional, faithful, and completed tasks. However, He wasn’t harried, hurried or hustled. He didn’t seem to rush.

I want to be more like Jesus—purposeful yet full of peace.

Since the “do more, be more” mantra isn’t working out so well, I want to adopt a new chant to undergird my days.

Do less, gain more.

Trust God to work even when you’re not.

Do less, gain more.

Stay hidden in Him while He fights for you.

Do less, gain more.

Give God room to make you bloom.

As God cocoons us in His love we stop striving and let Him work. At the right time we emerge, a new creation, ready to glorify Him.

We don’t have to muster up worth through tasks upon tasks. We are enough because Christ is enough. We don’t have to produce to be valuable. We have value because Jesus died on our behalf. We don’t have to be enough. We have a God who is enough for us.

Let’s do less striving and let’s gain what truly matters—a dependent relationship on the One who came to set us free from the rat race of sin.

As we hide ourselves in Him we are found. As we let go we find peace. As we life the surrendered life, led by the Spirit, and secure in Jesus’ love, we are home.

P.S. Jesus loves you-oo.

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Author & Speaker Katie M. Reid image by Adopting Nations

Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children (and one on the way) and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography Katie encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Twitter and Facebook.


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Katie Reid

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