Why It’s Good You’re Not Everything

Well, I’m learning to be gentle with myself–profoundly gentle–especially in the face of criticism or when disappointing others.

A woman I just met told me that what she’s most learning in parenting is that “she’s not everything” (and she shouldn’t be everything) to her children. We talk about how her not being everything means that her children go to God as their source, not her.

And then I see it clearly: God is the Source. Not me, never me. Go to Him. I will fail you! I’m not everything, but Jesus is.

I make immediate applications to all my roles: I’m not everything as a teacher. I’m not everything as a mother, a wife, a public speaker, or someone who shares her experiences with Jesus. I’m not everything as a friend. (In fact, my friends know that I’m good at disappearing for long periods of time, that I can be self-focused, and that I like attention.) But the truth: I’m not meant to be everything. In fact, it’s good when I fall short of your expectations in any area.

It’s because I’m not everything. Praise God, I’m not. And you’re not. We’re just ordinary people serving an extraordinary God. It’s so precious to live in the humble and honest reality that we mostly screw up, that we mostly live lives of radical faith because we are at the end of ourselves, and that most of our problems come when we’re held to a high standard. And then I think about how I hold others to high standards, too.

I don’t want to hold others to a standard only God can meet.

And I’m learning to be gracious with myself when others hold me to standards I cannot possibly meet.

We’re not everything because God is.

He is Everything so I don’t have to be.

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