Have we done all we can?

I’ve had this question put to me in various forms hundreds of times during my ministry. “Isn’t there more we can do?” “Have we done everything possible?” “Can’t we do more?” Usually the question is asked in relation to some painful difficulty, often arising from a strained or broken relationship. For example, when a son or daughter begins to turn from the ways of the Lord that parents have tried to teach them. Or when a spouse decides to walk away from marriage. Or a church member decides to break his or her membership covenant.

I have watched parents agonize through tears about the “more” that they could have done to rescue a wayward child. And I’ve heard church members ask, sometimes in almost accusatory tones, “Have the elders done everything possible to help this person” as the process of corrective discipline is unfolding in the church. Several years ago, I started answering this question with a simple, “No. We have not done everything possible” (read the rest of the article)