The Spiritual Discipline of Hard Work

There are areas of our lives that most of us want to improve. We want to be a better as a spouse, parent, child, worker, friend, Church member, and a host of other things. We listen to sermons or read blog posts, and there is a stirring in our souls to make a change. This will be the week, the month or the year that good things are going to happen. We dream about it, we talk to friends and family about it, we might even write it down, and sometimes we begin praying about it. “The future is going to be different for me,” we tell ourselves.

Frequently we are pushed into this type of thinking by some dramatic event. A visit to the doctor forces us to reevaluate our lives. A sudden tragedy pushes open the doors of change. Even a big life-changing event like the birth of our children gets us motivated to adjust our thoughts a new direction.

I see this happen to some people every December. As they face the new year, they are convicted that change needs to come. They make resolutions and swear that this is the year they make the improvements they have been dreaming about for so long.

Most of the time these hopes for a better tomorrow are lost in the hard work of today. It is one thing to say that you want to lose weight, it is another to get up an hour early and exercise. It is one thing to say that you want to know your Bible better, it is another thing to set aside a half hour in your busy schedule to read. It is one thing to think about being a better spouse; it is something different to change your routine to show the other person you care. The list could go on and on. Our thoughts and dreams of a different future are bound tightly to the hard work we put in today.

Inspiring people towards a better future is easy. It is simple to give people examples and applications to help them show them the way to behave. It is challenging to get people motivated to work hard.

In the Christian life, there can be a massive disconnect between what I think and dream about and the actions I am doing each day. How about if this holiday season you stopped dreaming and started doing? What will it take for next year to be better than this year? The answer is merely a commitment to hard work.

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