All or Nothing


All or nothing. That’s it. That’s what God wants from you.

Remember the story of Joseph and his brothers throwing him in the well? (Genesis 37) They hated him (mostly because he was proud and they were jealous), and there are many lessons to be learned from this story (God uses all circumstances for His good, God can use someone without any talents or skills, no matter the difficulties you face—if you keep your faith, God will pull you through, etc.), but the one that I want to pull out is actually more about Reuben than Joseph.

Reuben was Joseph’s oldest brother. When all of Joseph’s other brothers wanted to kill him, Reuben talked them out of it by convincing them that they didn’t need his blood on their hands or the guilt. He talked them into throwing Joseph into the well, with the intention of coming back later to retrieve Joseph on his own. (Genesis 37:21-22) At first glance, it seems like great brotherly love- saving your brother’s life immediately, and then wanting to come back and rescue him later. Great. Except it wasn’t. Reuben had good intentions, so to speak. But, really, he was a coward. Being the firstborn son of Jacob, Reuben could have commanded his brothers to listen to him. He could have (and should have) stood up to them outright, refusing to allow the conspiracy against Joseph. But, instead, he went around about way to save Joseph. He agreed with his brothers to get rid of Joseph, secretly plotting to come back and rescue him. But what was the point? His actions were useless. They were neither for nor against Joseph.

And that’s where we’re at most of the time with God. Most of what we do may seem to be for Him, but typically it’s a moot point. We’re only giving it half a shot. We don’t want to make ourselves unpopular with anyone, make any sacrifices (whether it be financially, physically or mentally) or lose ourselves (or our status) in the process. So we go along with the crowd, keeping our mouths closed, to keep the peace. Possibly thinking we’ll maybe speak one-on-one to each person to state our (forgetting it’s His) case. Maybe thinking like Reuben, and intending to come back later to rectify the damage we caused. We’re so concerned with ourselves and our precious time and money and reputation that, had we just done the right thing in the first place, we wouldn’t have to go back and attempt a do-over. Think about the time and money we’d save that way! And our reputations would be accounted for with the only person that matters in the first place: God.

We have to be able to stand up for what we believe. (2 Thessalonians 2:15) We must be consistent in our convictions, regardless of the possible outcome. There is no room for compromise when it comes to faith. If we don’t have our faith, then we’re in essence saying we don’t have God. And if we don’t have God, then we don’t have anything.

God doesn’t want our partiality, He wants our totality. All or nothing. (Proverbs 3:6)

(And remember, it’ll never compare to all that He gave for you.)


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