Thursday, August 04, 2005

Effort to Grow

Life at Work
We joke about putting a brick on our kids’ heads to keep them from growing, but we know it is a joke. Growth of the human body is natural. When a body is healthy and it receives proper nutrition, it grows. Christian growth doesn’t happen naturally, though. Paul wrote, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved….” (2 Tim. 2:15) Peter wrote, “Make every effort to add to your faith… for if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:5-9). Christian growth depends on “doing our best” and “making every effort.”

In “Southern Cross,” Crosby, Stills, and Nash sang the words, “We never failed to fail. It was the easiest thing to do.” They sang about human relationships, but some have that same approach to their growth toward God. It is easier to do nothing, fail, and then moan about the failure, than it is to grow.

I don’t know all the reasons someone would live that way – failed past attempts or laziness might be a couple. It’s certainly true that someone who never excels will rarely be given responsibility in the future. Some might be trying to stay away from future callings.

I do know what Peter says about those who don’t make the effort. He says they have forgotten that they were cleansed from their past sins. When you remember how far you’ve come by the grace of God, you have the motivation to keep going. Have you settled in? Are you in a pattern of failure because that’s the easiest thing to do? Remember where you’ve come from because of God’s mercy, then do your best again. That’s Life at Work.

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