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You Can’t Want It More Than They Do

Recovery (Substance Abuse) Compassion Ministry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-01-15

Author: Mitchell Dillon


Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28). The Apostle Paul, like every pastor, knew what it was to carry the burden of concern for others. As a pastor for over thirty years, I understand just how heavy that burden can be, and the emotional toll it can take when it’s carried over an extended period of time. I’ve become convinced that there are certain things you must learn to avoid if you’re going to last in ministry. Allow me to illustrate. 

My last church was a recovery church. My heart’s burden was to see every person who passed through those doors experience deliverance from the devastating effects of drug addiction and alcoholism.  Such a ministry can be very emotionally frustrating, especially when there are families with young children involved, and the addict continues to relapse. One such case involved a woman who had recently lost her husband and daughter to a tragic accident and had just checked herself out of recovery in the middle of her program. 

The future of her young sons hung in the balance as her church support team sat around a dining table to counsel her. It became pretty clear, after listening to how she was going to “work out” her own sobriety program, that every person sitting around that table was more committed to her success than she was. 

I finally said, “it’s clear to me this isn’t going to work. We can’t care more about your sobriety than you do. When that changes, let us know. For now, we need to step aside and let you do what you’ve already determined you’re going to do.”


There’s a limit to how much we can and should try to help those who fail to see their own need.  When you’re in the caring business, you often have to put a check on your compassion. You can’t care more than the ones you’re trying to help. If you do, you’ll burn out on the wrong people, on the ones that can’t be helped, and you’ll have nothing left for the others. 

This is God’s dilemma, as well. He cares for each of us more than we care for ourselves. But just like my alcoholic friend, we rebuff His care when we should welcome it. We do this because we don’t really want to be delivered from our destructive behaviors, from our addictions.  So we reject His role in our recovery.  We assure Him we’ll do just fine handling it our way.  And God, being as wise as He is compassionate, steps aside. 

The Butterfly Effect

Ministry Faithfulness Influence

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-05-15

Scripture: Matthew 13:32

Author: James Miller


In 1961, meteorologist Edward Lorenz developed a computer program to predict weather patterns.  One day he was in a hurry and set a computer calculation that was supposed to be .506127 to .506.  He figured a thousandth of a percent would be irrelevant.  Later in the day, he restarted the program and found a radically different prediction in weather patterns.  He produced a paper stating that a very small change in initial conditions could have a radical change in results. A fellow scientist said that if Lorenz was correct, a single flap of a seagull’s wind could change the course of the weather forever. 

In 1972, Lorenz presented a paper called, “Does the Flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?”  The idea that a little change somewhere in the world could produce huge changes somewhere else became known as the "Butterfly Effect."

[Edward Lorenz's findings were first published in 1963, in a paper entitled “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow."  Lorenz shared the 1983 Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and was awarded the 1991 Kyoto Prize.]


A small act of faithfulness today can have huge ramifications in the future, far beyond anything we can anticipate, producing results that we may never see.  But it's not necessary for us to know the ultimate impact of these quite actions.  Our task is to simply focus on being faithful to God in small things. 

"His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’" (Matthew 25:23). 

Thank Your Waitress ...

Glorify God Ministry Spiritual Life

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2016-07-05

Scripture: Matthew 4:4 ; 2 Corinthians 5:19

Author: Stephen Kingsley


The waitress at the cafe serves you the meal she did not purchase or prepare. The cafe owner purchases the food and the cook labors over every detail of the preparation. Yet, they remain hidden, unknown and unseen. The waitress takes orders and places the food on the table and is the one who hears the words, "Thank you!"


In much the same way, pastors take prayer requests and serve you the Good News of Christ. It is appropriate to give them an occasional "thank you," but be sure to give the ultimate credit and glory to God for all that you receive in life, the tangible and the intangible, the physical and the spiritual. 

"But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

The Game Has Gotten Hotter!

Adversity Ministry Faithfulness

Contributed By: Shawn Nichols | Date Posted: 2016-04-25

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:5

Author: Shawn Nichols

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Don't Do More, Do Better

Good Works Faithfulness Ministry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-27

Scripture: Colossians 3:23

Author: Kent Crockett

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Putting On The Batman Suit

Spiritual Gifts Ministry Faithfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Rock Star Janitor

Ministry Humility Influence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-19

Scripture: Mark 9:35 ; Matthew 20:26

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Meteor or Shining Light

Burn Out Leadership Ministry

Contributed By: Scott Roberts | Date Posted: 2015-06-14

Scripture: Exodus 18:14

Author: Scott Roberts

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In The Next Thirty Seconds

Productivity Ministry Spirituality

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2014-09-06

Scripture: John 6:63

Author: Larry Lewis

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There Is No Testimony Without A Test

Testing Testimony Ministry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-03

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9

Author: Illustration Exchange

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