Jim Chafee - Doing our Best

Mark 14:8, “She hath done what she could.” She did her best; it was all she could do. No one can do any more than that.

Our best is our best; our all is our all. One’s best is not another’s best. It is for each one of us to know what is our best. Our best is something that is different for each one of us. I won’t know what your best is. If we do our best for today, it is okay for today. Our best today may not be our best tomorrow. I could have done my best yesterday but that does not count for today. Doing our best yesterday helps us to do even better today. It is something we must do each day.

When we don’t do our best, something is lost; something is wasted. We have wasted an opportunity. We have missed a privilege. Valuable time is wasted, and the way to redeem time is to do our best.

A child may do the best they can, and some may laugh. They may say, “I can do better than that.” Perhaps so, but with the Lord, when we have done our best, no one can do any better. Some may have done better, but if it was not their best, it was less than what those who are doing their best have done. God will be satisfied with our best, even if others may think they could do better.

There is also our next best; our second best. There is a big gap between our best and our second best. Second best is a poor effort. How can it be second and still be “best?” It can not be second and still be best. Doing our second best will work for some things in the world, but never in serving the Lord. It is far from the same. Doing our second best will not take us all the way. Our best will bring us to the heart of God.

I often do not know if I can honestly say I have done my best. I always feel I could have done better; I was supposed to do better. It is not easy to do our best. Doing our best is something we seek to do, but never really feel we have accomplished. Time will tell if we have truly done our best.

In the world we may do the best we can, but it is not good enough. We can do our best in our work, and one day find out our best was not good enough. It is a great pain to the heart when our best is rejected. It will never be so with God, but when we have done our best, God will know and He will never reject us. God is always satisfied with our best. That is all He asks.

When we were boys, we worked with our father all the time. Sometimes, we did not do so well. Sometimes, we would make mistakes, break something. My father was always very patient and kind. He never got angry with me for my mistakes and for breaking things. Years later, we were talking with him about that. We asked why he never got angry with us. He just replied, “I knew you were doing your best. You could not do any more than that. How could I be angry?” That touched my heart, but deep inside I know I really wasn’t doing my best; I could have done better. I have many regrets for times when I have failed to do my best. I have no regrets for times when I did my best.

When we think of the Lord’s kindnesses, love, and mercies we know we have not doe our best. It will always be a struggle to do our best.

An old brother worker wrote a hymn, “I will follow Thee, my Lord, and Thy sweet will obey, Gladly yielding Thee my best and all from day to day; For Thou wilt give the needed grace to go on all the way, I will do my best for Thee, my Saviour.”

Someone once tried to take this brother’s life, but they failed. God protected him. Was it because he wanted to do his best for the Lord that they wanted to kill him? Was it because he was encouraging others to do their best? Some will not be happy with us when we do our best. There will always be those who don’t understand it, who don’t appreciate it when we are doing our best.

Our best often comes far short of all we wish we could be. Our best is to be all we know we should be. Hymn 85 says, “I must have the Saviour with me, for my faith, at best, is weak.” Hymn 93, “One poor life, small the offering at best.” Every time it is a struggle to do our best. When we fail to even try to do our best, we come so much further short of what we should be. Abraham offered his best to the Lord. Hymn 243, “Upon a lonely mount, obeying God’s behest, a father offered up his son; it was his very best.”

So, why is it that we want to give our best to the Lord? Why do we want to do our best in anything? The reasons are many. It would be a profitable study sometime to think of those in the scripture who did their best, and how it ended for them. Then we could think of those who failed to do their best, and see where that brought them. After this study we will be in a better position to wisely choose which we want to do.

Hymn 341, “Ages have not dimmed the record of the souls who did their best.” How did they do that? “Toiling, praying, sacrificing, bravely meeting every test.” Another hymn says to do our best is to live the truth throughout our daily home life.

The Lord has given His best for us. For us to do less is so unfair. So unreasonable on our part. Hymn 286, “Thou, Lord, hast given Thy best for me, Thou didst not shrink from Calvary.”

The woman in Mark 14 did what she could; it was her best. Some called it a waste. To the world, giving our best to God seems such a waste. Little does the world know all they are wasting.

When the woman in Matthew 26 came and poured the ointment on Jesus, some criticized. The good she had done would never be forgotten. Many things that happened that day, things that men thought quite important, have long since been forgotten. What this woman did is remembered unto our day, and will be told wherever the gospel is preached.

Jesus rebuked His disciples; He corrected them. Judas was offended by the correction, and right then, he made his decision to go out and betray Jesus. The others accepted correction, and later, they understood that Jesus was right and what this woman had done was good. Later, they, too, spoke highly of this woman when they wrote it down in their writings.

What this woman did is remembered as a memorial of her as long as the world stands. What Judas did is also remembered, and will be told to his shame and condemnation wherever the gospel is preached.

Do your best today, and “We'll have no regrets when the sun goeth down; for then, we'll receive the long-coveted crown.”