Thursday, February 18, 2016

Work Hard at What God Calls You to Do

My back yard
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

I had a student in one of my philosophy of religion classes who was a follower of Jesus. They loved God and wanted to serve God. That's what they said. They were failing my class, not because of a lack of intelligence, but because of a lack of effort. One day I took them aside and asked:

"You are a Christian, right?"


"Has God called you to be in college?"


"If God has called you to be in college," I said, "then you need to pour everything you have into this and study your face off."

This student was lazy, disobedient, mediocre.

I told them they would never serve on my team if they didn't respond to God's callings by giving it all they have. This is not about a grade or being better than others. It's not about working hard to earn God's love. It is about loving God; therefore working hard at all God calls you to do. God called me to study. Therefore, I study hard. I don't study for a grade, but for the glory of God.

Thomas Merton wrote: "It is the lack of self-denial or self-discipline that explains the mediocrity of so much devotional art, so much pious writing, so much sentimental prayer, so many religious lives." (Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, 26)