Is This Opportunity My Assignment?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries recently wrote something I found profound. “Not every opportunity is meant to be my assignment.”

I don’t know about you, but this is an area I’ve had problems navigating. Someone asks me to do something and I feel compelled to comply, regardless of how that something will impact my life or the lives of those around me.

Serve on this committee? Sure thing…even though it means one more evening away from home.

Be an active member of this ministry? Sure thing…even though I do not have the strength or the energy.


Volunteer to house, feed, clothe? Sure thing…even though it will stretch my resources to the breaking point.

Take on one more extra task at work? Sure thing…even though I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is.

Attend an event with friends? Sure thing…even though relationships are strained and it will cost me emotionally.

Most of us want to be available to others. We want to be active participants in worthy causes. We truly do. Sometimes, though, in our eagerness to please, we overlook our own needs.

As Lysa states, just because an opportunity arises it doesn’t necessarily mean it is our assignment to complete.

In the third grade, I asked my teacher for extra math worksheets so I could practice. The worksheets were opportunities for me to learn and improve. The math problems were not assignments. And as weird as it may seem, especially given my aversion to math, I really enjoyed doing the extra work. I even audited a math college class for the same reason. It was not assigned. Neither of those opportunities cost me anything I couldn’t afford to give, and I reaped a benefit.

But there have been way too many times I’ve looked at opportunities as missions from God, as the Blues Brothers said, and paid for not seeing the opportunities were not my assignments to take on.

In Lysa’s post she offers 5 questions to ask ourselves in evaluating our situations.

1. Do I have the resources to handle this request along with my current responsibilities?

2. Could this fit physically?

3. Could this fit financially?

4. Could this fit spiritually?

5. Could this fit emotionally?

Important questions to ponder. Wouldn’t you agree?

The next time we are asked to do something, maybe we should use Lysa’s 5 questions to filter our decisions.

Maybe we better think …

Leave your comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

If you want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. If you don’t, you might lay the foundation, but you would not be able to finish. Then all who would see it would make fun of you, saying, ‘This person began to build but was not able to finish.’  Luke 14:28-30 (NCV)

I wish you well.


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6 thoughts on “Is This Opportunity My Assignment?

  1. This applies to me as well, Sandy — you feel guilty when you turn down a request from someone. We can REGRET that we just cannot handle it, but we must NOT feel guilty when we are overloaded. Then it becomes a task or a job instead of a joy……something you “have to do” rather than something you enjoy doing.


    • You are so right, Marsha. There are so many “good” things we are asked to do, but they may not be the best for us at this particular time. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Appreciate it.


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