I don’t know about you, but I hear the phrase: “God will increase your capacity” quite frequently. It is true, He does. He certainly has increased mine and I am sure that He will continue to do so. Yet should this be our focus? I would say not, and yet it had become so for me. It had also become a source of pride. And now that pride is crumbling as I realise how wrong I got it.
Yes, God has placed me in positions of leadership in both the Congo Project and SBS, but is this really what He had in mind when people spoke those words of promise over me, the words proclaiming that God increases our capacity? If this was so, then we would all have to be up front leaders to be able to say our capacity had grown. Of course, we have the beautiful analogy from Paul about believers being a body, made up of many parts, but all serving the same God, so we know this isn’t the case. We all have different roles and functions to fulfil, and for many of us it won’t be up-front leading.
You see, I had taken those words to mean that He would increase my capacity to do, when really what He wants is to increase my capacity to love.
Romans 13:8-10 Do not owe anyone anything—except to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law. For the commandments, “You must not commit adultery; you must not murder; you must not steal; you must not covet,” and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” Love never does anything that is harmful to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the Law.
I am challenged by this revelation. And I’ll say it again so the words can sink in:
He does not want to increase our capacity to do, but rather our capacity to love.
I had become caught up in doing to the point where I feared that if I couldn’t keep up, then I had some how failed. My brain tells me “you can still keep all those balls in the air; keep juggling a little longer and you’ll make it.” But have you noticed how jugglers are really only keeping the same balls moving continuously in the same circle? The balls don’t go anywhere new; there is no progression to the cycle. How can I make it, if I’m not going anywhere? Why would keeping the balls in the air just a little longer make any difference to reaching the destination when I’m moving them in circles? My actions are just as pointless if not centered in love:
1 Cor 13:1-3 If I speak in the languages of humans and angels but have no love, I have become a reverberating gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all secrets and every form of knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains but have no love, I am nothing. Even if I give away everything that I have and sacrifice myself, but have no love, I gain nothing.
It is time to drop the juggling balls. It is time to drop the tasks that distract us from Christ and His call to love. It’s not that the tasks are wrong in themselves, but our focus is if we let them distract us from our call to love. Our doing should be the outward working of love.
It is not an easy application and I know that, for myself, I need to pray into what this specifically looks like, particularly since I am still involved in the ministries. Nevertheless, I challenge you to stop with me and take time to pray and refocus on what it means to love. We are called to love, not to do. Pray that God will increase your capacity – your capacity to love