Sunday, November 13, 2022

Effort Matters

Pastor friend, today I want to ask a question that only you can answer. Are you studying hard enough? Are you giving it your very best effort? 

As a weight lifter, I know I have to give my best effort if I am to see any gains. I must work hard to get more from my body than it is willing to give me. You heard me right. Your body is comfortable giving you a certain level. Your challenge is to take it to the next level and find out how much more you can get from it. That's what we call training hard. That's what produces results. 

And this is where a lot of us trip up. Guess what? I'm included. You sit down with your Bible to study for your next message and catch yourself giving it a half-hearted effort. When I lift, my training journal tells me I should do no more than 12 reps of, say, standing dumbbell curls. But when I get to 12, I can probably do more. I stop because that's where my training journal told me to stop. That's not training hard enough. This isn't going to give me the results I want. Maybe for some of you the very act of just sitting down to study is the accomplishment. "Well, at least I started." That is insane! That can't be your standard for excellence. That is only where it all starts. 

The only person who knows what your best effort is is you. Only I know if I am giving it my all when I weight train. Only I will know when I give it my all in other areas of life as well. However, there is one thing that is constant. When you are working hard, it's going to be downright uncomfortable. It isn't going to be easy. It's difficult. It requires effort. 

One favor, please, pastor. Don't just go through the motions in your study. Train. Push hard. Improve. It doesn't matter in the least how many semesters of Greek you had in seminary if you don't use that knowledge. 

It all comes down to your effort. Effort matters.