In the last month, much of my working time has gone into one thing: yesterday at 12.10, I spoke for 15 minutes to a room full of PhD students, supervisors and senior professors. There is no way this will lead to a new job or a promotion. It is basically just a sharing event. Yet for some reason, I have lain awake thinking about this talk. I have spent time gathering data, arranging slides, rearranging slides, sourcing images, creating graphs, rehearsing, getting feedback, presenting to video, timing, retiming. For some reason, this presentation, this 15 minutes has turned me into a perfectionist.
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to take communion in church. For this, I did a few minutes of prayer, some Bible reading, more prayer, and a few rehearsals over a period of about a week. I can’t shake the feeling that somehow God got a raw deal. How come a virtually meaningless presentation got more time and thought than a few privileged minutes speaking with God’s people: minutes that actually might count for something?
This is exactly the issue but the portion of Malachi is addressing here. We can dress it up in statements like “God knows my heart” but at the end of the day, if God is getting second best from us then that really says more about our hearts than we would care to admit!
Malachi shoots straight from the hip. If you wouldn’t even think of presenting something to your employer or your government, don’t even consider for a second that it might be acceptable to God. God deserves your best.
What does “your best” look like? Maybe it means pushing yourself in a talent or skill. Maybe it means getting coaching or help. Maybe it means giving more of your time, your money, your thinking, your strength. What is it for you?