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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Sunday Scriptures – Follow Jesus, Not Mere Rules

During a recent study on Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion, I read something I hadn’t considered before. When Jesus was arrested and tried before Pilate, because Pilate was a Gentile, and because it was the time of Passover, the Jewish leaders who falsely accused Jesus pushed him through Pilate’s gates. They didn’t want to defile themselves by entering a Gentile area. The Jews feared yeast might be present in Pilate’s house. If so, the priests would not have enough time to purify themselves before the Passover Lamb was sacrificed. (They’re handing the Lamb of God over to be crucified, and they’re worried entering a Gentile area would defile them? Really?)

The book of John, written by one of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples, who happened to also be one of Jesus’ cousins, gives a detailed description of what happened inside Pilate’s courtyard. How did John know what went on? Only answer…he was there.

John was a Jew, just like the men who refused to enter Pilate’s presence for fear of defilement. Seems John cared more about following Jesus, than he cared about following the rules of a religion.

As I pondered this thought, I read a devotion written by Lisa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries. What I got from Lisa’s devotion was we need to go beyond following rules – we need to follow Jesus. Isn’t that what John did? The Jewish law said, “Do not enter.” Jesus said, “Follow me.”

Pretty much, I’m a rule follower. But I’m also pretty stubborn. I like to think I make decisions based on what’s best for the grand scheme of things. I think that’s where God’s grace comes in. I doubt very seriously John was defiled because he entered Pilate’s courtyard. If anything, I believe he was blessed, as we are, by what he witnessed, and what he wrote down for us to study today.

What if John had held to the rules, and didn’t follow Jesus? What if we do the same?

Is there an area you feel God’s calling you to minister for him, to be a witness for him? Something maybe a little out of your comfort zone? Something others may not feel you should take on? Something they say might defile you? Someone God’s asking you to befriend who might be out of your circle of friends?

Follow rules, or follow Jesus?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Next he was taken to the palace of the Roman governor. His accusers wouldn’t go in themselves for that would “defile” them, they said, and they wouldn’t be allowed to eat the Passover lamb. John 18:28

I wish you well.


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