Give God 60 Percent


This passage so blessed me this morning, that I wanted to share it with you. It is written word for word from Michael Yaconelli’s book Messy Spirituality page 101.

Nonprinciple 3: Give God 60 percent

For years I believed it when people told me, “You either love God or you don’t. You are either committed or you aren’t. Give God 100 percent.” Sounds very spiritual, but the truth is there is no such thing as 100 percent commitment. I am a morning person, so I wake up with a fairly high commitment level, say 73 percent. Then I go to work, and my commitment level drops to 45 percent. I get a raise and my commitment level shoots up to 92 percent. My wife and I get in a fight, and it drops to 9 percent. And then Baywatch comes on television, and I’m up to 80 percent again (just kidding). Every day my commitment level moves up and down like a boat in rough seas, and my overall commitment might average out to 57 percent for the entire day. We strive for 100 percent, we want to give 100 percent (sometimes), and we wish we could give 100 percent, but life isn’t quite so simple.

Dr. Lorraine Monroe taught high school students in Harlem for many years. In her advanced English class one year sat a very bright student who, until this particular year, had shown great promise. This year his grades suddenly nosedived, and he was obviously underperforming. Dr. Monroe met with the boy, challenged him, threatened him, pleaded with him, and counseled him. She tried everything, but he continued to float just above the fail line at about 70 percent. At the end of the school year, the young man barely passed, another casualty of the urban jungle.

Ten years later, Dr. Monroe was walking to work one morning when a well-dressed young man approached her. “Do you remember me?” he asked.

“Of course I do, “Dr. Monroe replied. “You were in my advanced English class many years ago. I remember you because you had so much talent and you wasted it in my class.”

“I know, Dr. Monroe. I knew you believed in me, even though you were disappointed in my performance. I’ve always hoped I’d run into you again so I could thank you for believing in me, because I am one of the editorial writers for Time magazine now, and I owe much of my success to you. You see, Dr. Monroe, my senior year was a difficult year for my family. My father was in prison, my mother was a prostitute, my older brother was selling drugs in the projects, and I was left to care for my younger sister and brother. Dr. Monroe, 70% was 100 percent of all I could give you.”

Sometimes a 70% commitment is 100 percent of all we have to give. And God is there, in the middle of our “meager” 70 percent, recognizing the seeds of growth in what we’re giving him. God will show up in whatever percentage we give him, which motivates us to give even more.

Does this seem like heresy to you or does it smack with your reality?

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