We are living in highly disruptive and difficult times. For most of us, everyday life is very different than five months ago. We hoped things would be more “normal” or “predictable” by now, but it appears we have a long way to go. There are more questions than answers and more conflict than unity.
Experience has taught me that during disruptive and difficult times we must stick to the fundamentals. Everyone wants a beautiful harvest in the fall, but many are not willing to pay the price of working the crop daily all summer long. Everyone wants to get where someone else is, but few are willing to pay the price to get there.
The Bible challenges us to focus on the right things even when the times are so wrong. One of the right things is character. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” These are wise words. Victory is not accomplished in public opinions or public stadiums. Victory is won in the chaos of our own home, in the quietness of our own heart, and when you are alone and no one else will ever know your choice.
Victory comes when we make the right choice, do the right thing, even though it is not popular or when no one else knows about it. Are you more concerned with your public image or what those closest to you say you are all about? I can be known as the world’s greatest pastor. People can say, “He is so loving, helpful and kind.” But if I go home and treat my wife, my son and my daughter poorly, if I am disrespectful to them, dishonest, selfish, then I have lost. Here is a definition I have lived by for 30 years: Success is when those closest to you love you the most. If my customers or co-workers respect me more than my family, I have lost.
Focus on the roots of life and you will have a beautiful harvest. Focus on the actions you can take, the attitudes you can change, the words you can speak, and allow him to bring the fruit.
King Solomon wrote in Psalm 127, verse 1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” What a tragedy to spend your whole life building your dream home and when it is almost finished you discover it was built on contaminated soil and it will never be lived in. It was built in vain. Is the Lord building your life and legacy or are you building without God?
2 Thessalonians 3:13 reads, “never tire of doing good.” Galatians 6:9 adds more to this thought, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Will your life impact be measured by a bank account or what is in your safe deposit box? Or are you following Jesus Christ and leaving a rich spiritual legacy? Victory starts with the fundamentals