By Kelly Carr, Editor
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? This list of three doesn’t sound very fun. In fact, it sounds like work. And maybe you’re like me—I tend to feel disheartened or intimidated when something requires a lot of work.
Make Every Effort
Don’t get me wrong—I am capable of hard work and do it on a regular basis. But being told that I have work to do ahead can become a dread hanging over my mind.
I could say that shying away from hard work is based on my perfectionism: I want things I do to be the best. I don’t want to mess up. So if I put off starting the task then I can’t mess it up!
Or I could admit that my attitude is more about apathy: I’m tired, and I’d rather sit and leave things the way they are than strain my brain or muscles to improve them.
If I confess that my tendency is to dread hard work, what pushes me to ever get anything done? The right motivation.
Ineffective & Unproductive
I find that different things motivate me in different forms of hard work:
• When I clean the house though I despise cleaning, it’s because I feel happier when the piles of junk are put away. (And then I don’t stub my toe on the shoes laying by the door.)
• When I shop for groceries even though I don’t want to go to the store, it’s because I want my family to stay healthy.
• When I get out of bed even though I want to hit snooze for the fifteenth time, it’s because my daughter needs to get to school and I care about her education.
• When I struggle to put words on paper even though I can’t think of anything to write, it’s because I hope that God can use my words to encourage one of you out there reading this!
So if these are the motivators of my weekly chores, then what motivates me to develop knowledge, self-control, perseverance and these other items from 2 Peter? The price I pay if I don’t: “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 Peter 1:8).
When I look back on my life, do I want the words “ineffective and unproductive” to describe my years? No, thank you. Then I’ve got work to do.
A Rich Welcome
Before I get too worn out or discouraged again, I will call to mind what we discussed just a few weeks ago: God has given us the gift of rest also. The one who wants us to make every effort to grow has also built rest into his plan. He has many blessings and joy in store as a reward for our hard work, both here on earth and for eternity.
Let’s look at 2 Peter 1 with a fresh perspective and find motivation to press on: “For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (vv. 10, 11).