LOOKING UP: Try the road to winsome ways
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 by JOE BAISDEN
When I was in college, a psychology professor offered this word about giving advice: DON'T!
Way back in 1980, I was asked to give some advice to college students and those recently graduated. Thirty-two years later, I offer the same words to a wider audience. It is my prayer that they will be a blessing to all who read them. Here they are:
"Do your best, be enthusiastic, and do more than is required. Doing your best is the only honorable approach for the Christian. Being enthusiastic turns work into fun. Doing more than is required brings great benefits into your own life and the lives of others."
These words grow out of biblical truths.
One of the praises of the "Worthy Woman" of Proverbs 31 is that "she sets about her work vigorously." The Apostle Paul fitly describes the right attitude of the Christian when he wrote: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Col. 3:23).
When we are tempted to point out the faults of others and let that color our attitude and adversely effect our approach to work, Paul continues: "Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism" (v.25). He is saying: You do what is right regardless of what others do.
One day as I was in discussion with a man who was constantly doing less than his best, and majoring in managing to get by with his sloppy work ethic, he said to me, "You could get by with stuff." He did not understand that it was not my goal to "get by with stuff."
The Wise Man of the Proverbs wrote: "One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys" (18:9).
When you work at something enthusiastically, with all your heart, you will discover the truth of Proverbs 15:15: "The cheerful heart has a continual feast;" and Proverbs 22:17: "A cheerful heart is good medicine."
It was Jesus who said, "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles" (Matt. 5:41). If you are always worried that you might have to do something extra, get over it. Welcome the chance to do the unexpected—to do something not on your job description—something for which you may not be paid. When you are a "second miler," you will not be a loser, for Jesus said, "Whoever wants to saves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" (Matt. 16:25).
The fuel for all of the above is to commit to the greatest commands: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.'" When these truths motivate your life, you will not run away from duty or opportunity to help others.
A good attitude changer is to fill your mind with noble thoughts like these: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things (Phil. 4:9).
Whom do you truly admire? I suspect that it is folks who put into practice some of the things written above.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." – 2 Tim. 2:15