August 23, 2011

Sweat and Success

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 23, 2011

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:10-12

Many times there is a direct correlation between hard work and success. It is not a prerequisite to success, but it increases its probability. Yes, you can work hard on the wrong things and fail miserably, or you can labor lazily on the right things and still not get the job done. Or, you may have the privilege of building on someone else’s sacrifice, but it still requires your focused intensity and investment of time and thinking.

Jesus stated it well, “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor” (John 4:38). However, for most, perspiration and persistency is the preamble that constitutes success.

If you only talk about what you are going to do, spiritual and smart people will begin to grow suspect. The Bible says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads to poverty (Proverbs 14: 23). Avoid behavior that is full of busyness, but void of progress. Work hard at the things that matter and your work will matter. For example, be punctual for appointments, even early. Your attention to being on time communicates respect and value to the other parties. Hard work begins with a focused and responsible attitude.

Be thorough and painstakingly detailed in your research and reporting, and then turn in only your best work by the team’s agreed upon deadline—make sure you are dependable, especially when times are difficult. Never give up and you will, at the very least, see your character profit in ways that only comes by the sweat of diligence and determination.

Paul said, “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it…”(1 Corinthians 4:13).

Moreover, define success as your Savior defines success. Are you filled with your own ambition, or is it your ambition for others to excel? Successful men and women are secure and wise enough to surround themselves with those who are smarter, and who are gifted and skilled in complimentary ways. Wise leaders lead others to labor hard by their personal example. Intensely focused work inspires intensely focused work.

Furthermore, you can be a success and make $30 a month in the coffee fields of Ethiopia, or be a seasoned executive in London with a salary of $30,000 a month. Success is not defined by your net worth (this is only a result of the market’s assigned value), but rather by the content of your character and the quality of your relationships. God rewards hard work. This has been His plan from the beginning. So, labor long and hard for the Lord and others. You are a success when you seek to be successful for your Savior’s sake!

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).”

What area of my work do I need to increase my intensity and focus?

Related Readings: Ezra 5:8; Luke 5:5; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:12

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