Helpful or good enough

I was reviewing my notes for a presentation to nursing students about grief. The prof believes it helpful for nurses to have learned a little about how to talk to families who are in the middle of the death of a friend or family member. Someday, I may share some of that material.

But that’s not the point of this post.

While I was reviewing, I thought, “I hope this is good enough.” It’s the thought many of us have every time we present, every time we are in meetings, every time we are on the phone with clients. In fact, it’s what some of us say every time we speak or write.We are constantly concerned with measuring up to the expectations of others or ourselves. We are caught up in viewing our words as performances.

But then I thought, “What if that’s the wrong measure? What if the goal isn’t to be good enough? What if the goal of our interactions could be to be helpful?”

Paul spends the first half of one of his letters talking about what God has done to make us good enough, to give us the identity of children of God, loved by and through Jesus. When Paul turns to the “so what”, he says many things. But one thing is, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

If I took time spent on worrying about being good enough and devoted it to discovering what is helpful, how much more could the listeners benefit? They move from being an audience to being recipients of value.

I’ve got more thinking to do about this. I’m guessing I’m not alone. How can we help each other?

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  1. Pingback: Making space in my schedule. – 300 words a day

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