When You Love the Lord with All Your Heart, but You Have Limited Time to Give Him

It’s easy to feel like our Spiritual lives are lacking when we compare our lives to the “good Christian”. Good Christians read their Bible every day. Good Christians pray for their enemies. Good Christians love the Lord with their all. When we play this comparison game, it’s easy to become discouraged. So what about the times when you do love the Lord with your all your heart, but it just doesn’t seem like much?

What do you do when you Love the Lord with all your heart but don't have the time to give Him? | Christian Motherhood | Faith | Christian Lifestyle | Devotional | Biblical Womanhood | Love the Lord | Spiritual Self-care

When You Love the Lord With All Your Heart but Have Limited Time to Give Him

That’s a mouthful for a title, isn’t it? Bear with me. Back in April, I wrote a post that talked about how we needed to Love the Lord with our all. It was harsh by my own standards of how to teach. I still stand by the fact that this is a necessary message, but now I want to offer some grace as a follow up.

Dear Moms, we need to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, but we also need to find freedom from the pressure that other Christians put on us in this area. So let’s study this.

Read It

He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:27 (HCSB)

This was Jesus’s answer to the most important commandment as Luke provides it. The statement itself is a rephrasing of Deuteronomy 6:5. However, I like to use this verse because of the addition of “all your mind.”

41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning His disciples, He said to them, “I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44 (HCSB)

Once more, the “He” in this passage is Jesus Christ. The rest of this passage is straightforward.

Learn It

“All” is a variable term.

Some of you are about to draw up a pie chart to argue with me: “No, all is all. You can’t give less than all and I still be all.”

A few years ago, I would have been right there with you. Before we get into how the term is variable, let’s first go over why we need to redefine what “all” means.

Redefining the Call to “All”

I’ve heard this call to give all for my entire life in terms of, “What else can you give up in your life?” or “If you aren’t doing this, can you really claim that you’re giving God your everything?”

We define what “all” by listing the things that we aren’t doing. These are all statements that I’ve personally heard before:

  • Read the Bible before breakfast every day
  • Wake up early for devotionals before the kids get up
  • If you’re watching two hours of TV every evening, then you can give some of that time to God
  • When was the last time you prayed outside of blessing the food?
  • How many of you could sing all the lyrics to (insert trendy pop song) but can’t quote ten Bible Verses to me right now?

It’s not that any of this is bad advice. There are also times when we make excuses or give away time that we should give to God. But I can tell you now, with every bit of strength in my soul, that defining our “all” in terms of what we aren’t doing is a trap that ensnares so many Christians.

What do you do when you Love the Lord with all your heart but don't have the time to give Him? | Christian Motherhood | Faith | Christian Lifestyle | Devotional | Biblical Womanhood | Love the Lord | Spiritual Self-care | Quote | Time Management

First, it draws a line in the sand that divides us into Good Christians and Bad Christians. Those on the correct side of the line get a pat-on-the-back that breeds pride or – even worse – apathy towards their relationship with God.

Wait – apathy?

Yes, apathy. Because when you’re on the correct side of the line multiple times in a row, it becomes easy to think, “Look at everything I’m doing right.” From there, it’s a very short slide until you get so caught up in the rituals that you forget about the relationship aspect of our faith; you forget to pray, “Lord, is there anything else that I need to be doing?”

And then there are those on the wrong side of the line…

Learning From the Widow

Guys, where’s the grace in defining our “all” by the things that we aren’t doing? What about the Moms who truly do need their sleep? Or the Christians working two different jobs to provide for their families? Do we really want to lay guilt on their shoulders by telling them what they need to be doing to truly give their everything over to God when these little rules aren’t even Biblical commands?

43 Summoning His disciples, He said to them, “I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:43-44 (HCSB)

The Widow literally handed her all over to God. Jesus Himself said that she put more into the treasury than all others before her. However, the Widow’s gift still had an external form of two small, measly coins. They didn’t change form into two valuable coins when she dropped them in. No matter how you looked a them, touched them, or counted them, they were still the same two coins.

The Widow’s all wasn’t much, but to God it was a great gift.

All is a variable amount.

Why should our time be any different than the widow’s money? God programmed our bodies with certain needs. We need to eat, which means we need money. We need to practice cleanliness to protect our health. We need sleep and rest to properly function. Like it or not, our time will be partially filled with certain elements.

And that’s just the basics. We’re not talking about the time spent taking care of children, different demands of jobs, and innumerable other elements that come into play.

To sum it up, some of us are in seasons where we have a surplus of time to dedicate to God; others of us only have the equivalent of the Widow’s coins.

What do you do when you Love the Lord with all your heart but don't have the time to give Him? | Christian Motherhood | Faith | Christian Lifestyle | Devotional | Biblical Womanhood | Love the Lord | Spiritual Self-care | Quote | Time Management

The Faith Element

…but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:44 (HCSB)

Those of us still in our busy seasons do need to take note of this verse though. Even though it was all of her money, the widow still gave it to God. She had faith that God would provide for her during this time.

As we go through our busier seasons, I think there’s a very strong temptation to sometimes let go of some important elements of our faith. While we may not be able to read the Bible consistently or spend time in prayer, it’s still important that we try to give the little time that we do have over to God.

More importantly, we need to be careful that we don’t turn a blind-eye to ministry opportunities that arise around us just because we’re busy surviving. We need to stay tuned in to what the Holy Spirit is telling us during these times.

(If you’re not sure how the Holy Spirit speaks to us, please click here.)

 

Even when it’s difficult and we feel like we can’t go on, there are times that we need to have faith that God will provide the strength that we need to accomplish whatever it is. We need to have faith that He’ll keep our minds sharp at work and our bodies healthy.

So what does all of this boil down to?

Redefining All

He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:27 (HCSB)

Instead of looking at the things that you aren’t doing, instead look at what you can do. This means if you have time to spare, then you can give it over to God. If you have still have energy, or “strength”, then you can give it to God. If you are able to focus your mind on studying the Bible, then you can do that.

It’s about keeping your priorities in order even when it comes to your faith. What is the purpose of reading five chapters from the Bible each day if you’re not focused on growing closer to God? What is the purpose of spending an hour in prayer for various people if you’re not praying for God to speak to you?

What do you do when you Love the Lord with all your heart but don't have the time to give Him? | Christian Motherhood | Faith | Christian Lifestyle | Devotional | Biblical Womanhood | Love the Lord | Spiritual Self-care | Quote | Time Management

“That’s great, Lauren, but how do we actually do this in practice.”

First, make your prayer, “God, what does my all look like for you today?”

Second, trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. If you feel like reading the Bible, then do that. If you see a ministry opportunity that you feel compelled to help with, then help with it (or at least sign up to help). Some days your all isn’t going to look like much, but that’s just fine. If Jesus were to comment on it, He would say, “Truly this one gave more than all the others, for they gave from the surplus of their time.”

Finally, escape from the pressure that others, even Christians, put on your faith. You aren’t them and they aren’t you. We are supposed to hold each other accountable, but that shouldn’t mean that we fall to legalism

You worship the way you want to and are able to do; I’ll worship the way that I want to and are able to do. As long as we’re all bearing fruit in our faith, then we should be celebrating, right?

If you liked this post, then you’ll love my new e-course. (Seriously, this is directly inspired from the course introduction.)

 

Apply It

  • Ask: “Am I giving God from the surplus of my time, or from my all?”
  • Do: Block out some time in the next few days to worship God. (Don’t beat yourself up if something happens – like a child spontaneously waking up – to mess this worship time up.)
  • Pray: “Dear God, help me to remember the story of the Widow’s Gift when it comes to how I spend my time. Help me to spend my all with You and for You, but remind me that my all is variable depending on the season of my life. Amen.”
    What do you do when you Love the Lord with all your heart but don't have the time to give Him? | Christian Motherhood | Faith | Christian Lifestyle | Devotional | Biblical Womanhood | Love the Lord | Spiritual Self-care | Quote | Time Management

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More about Lauren C. Moye

Lauren has had a lifelong passion for both writing and for helping people. Once upon a time, she would have laughed if somebody suggested she write nonfiction to achieve those goals. A couple of years ago, she would have scoffed if somebody suggested she write for her peer groups. Today she's writing to "HELP BUSY CHRISTIAN MOMS MANAGE LIFE."

5 thoughts on “When You Love the Lord with All Your Heart, but You Have Limited Time to Give Him

  1. Audrey

    Great post! I’ve fallen into the habit of berating myself many a time. It’s about giving God all that we can and then trusting that he’ll make it something great.

    Reply

  2. Marisa

    I love that you defined what “all” really means and said how putting it in terms of what we’re not doing becomes a snare. It’s about priorities, not legalism. This was very helpful and balanced advice for moms of littles, thank you!

    Reply

  3. Rebekah Hargraves, hhomeandhearth

    Another great post, girl! I appreciate your point about Good and Bad Christians. How often we fall into this trap of viewing ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ in this way! Oh, if we would instead only fully realize our standing in Christ. We are clothed in His righteousness and, when God looks at us, that is all He sees. This, of course, isn’t to say that there are not commands we should obey or principles we ought to follow. But understanding our position in Christ goes a long way towards rightly ordering our priorities, letting go of the “should do” or expectations of others, and understanding our freedom in Christ.

    Reply

  4. Sarah @ Christ-Centered Mama

    Seriously great thoughts. I love this quote: “Instead of looking at the things that you aren’t doing, instead look at what you can do. This means if you have time to spare, then you can give it over to God. If you have still have energy, or “strength”, then you can give it to God. If you are able to focus your mind on studying the Bible, then you can do that.”

    Reply

  5. Tami (@ThisMomsDelight)

    This is so convicting, Lauren. I fall asleep to the television when I could easily read a few verses of His word to fall asleep to.

    Reply

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