Question:

Have I become like the church at Ephesus?

I liken myself to the rich young ruler. I kept all these things from my youth but I can't seem to get over some of the other things Christ wants me to do and it's frightening. Maybe I've reached the point where I have allowed the noise from the world and Satan to get to me, and I've given up in some capacity.

In one of your answers, you asked a question: "Thus, it comes down to: Are you doing what you ought to do as a Christian?" I am honestly not doing my best, but what does my best look like? There is always something that needs to be done, someone to be taught and more to be given. I'm not trying to get barely get by, but how is this approached?

Overall, I'm just caught in a vicious mindset or attitude that I cannot seem to break out of or chose not to break out of. Instead of trying to thrive or live abundantly, I'm just trying to survive until my end has come. I'm playing not to lose instead of trying to win. How do I flip this mindset?

If you got to this point, thanks for reading. I admit ashamed I've had to write such an email and allowed such problems to fester. Thank you for your site with all the topics, Q&A, lessons, sermons, everything. You wouldn't believe how many links I have bookmarked. I'm thankful I have found them. They have been an invaluable resource in growing in other areas.

Answer:

You are correct that there is always something else to be done. That was an observation that Solomon made. "All things are wearisome; man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:8-9). If you look at the sum total of all that needs to be accomplished, it is an impossible task. "I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted" (Ecclesiastes 1:14-15). But God is not expecting you and me to solve the world's problems. He wants us to work and do our best in the limited time that we have here on earth.

"Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going" (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10).

Work on one thing at a time and do your best at it. Enjoy the effort and then move on to the next thing that needs to be done. Don't worry about whether you could have done better. Most things can be done better with practice, so I would expect you to improve each time you work on something. That doesn't mean your past effort was bad, it just means your future work will be better.

Response:

Hi Mr. Hamilton,

Thank you for your replies. I've gone through them and I'm reflecting and still giving them some considerable thought right now.

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