Thursday, December 17, 2009

Discipline and effort

In these days of quick fixes and instant solutions, it's helpful to remember that few things come so easily. Our neighbour teaches the piano. Sometimes I can hear the effort of the pupils as they strive to get their fingers moving to the right keys at the right time. It doesn't always work. The truth is it takes a lot of hard work to become proficient. And I think that's true no matter how much natural talent you might have.

Following Jesus takes hard work too. We'd like to think that it wouldn't, that somehow everything would fall into place. We'd like to think that once we've acknowledged Jesus as leader and forgiver everything would be good and we'd slip easily and neatly into a fulfilling devotional pattern of life. All our prayers answered, no questions left hanging in the air.

But spiritual growth does not happen by accident. If we don't plan to grow then we rarely will grow.

I was reminded of this as I read yesterday from Desiring God:

The Christian life is hard work. Christianity involves systematically striving to implement the truths of God’s Word into your life. Spiritual depth and maturity do not come without consistent effort... There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. Maturity only comes through hard work and obedience to what God says.

Perhaps now would be a good time to set some spiritual goals for next year.

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