Hang In There
After working on a major project for a couple of months, I had to convince three senior officers of the value of my proposal. Following my presentation, my four-star commander asked a lieutenant general and a brigadier general what they recommended. Picking up on what they saw as the commander’s hesitation, the generals—who’d earlier expressed their approval—both suggested the project be scrapped.
When asked to respond to their comments, disappointed but undaunted I laid out the advantages of adopting my approach and the costs of rejecting it. While not optimistic, I’d worked too hard to give up simply because these officers didn’t recognize the value of my proposal. The commander listened to what each of us had to say and promised to provide his decision the following morning. I was overjoyed when I arrived at work and discovered my typed summary of the recommendation with the initials of the commander in the “approved” block.
Doing what’s right isn’t always easy.
If we’re to get the job done with excellence, we’ll have to summon up the perseverance to press on despite any adversity that springs up along the way. This persistence is composed of endurance (the ability to bear pain, stress, and fatigue), strength (mental and physical toughness), and excellence (confidence of the unsurpassed goodness of your actions).
No one knew this better than Sir Winston Churchill, who encouraged the nation to stand firm as the allies engaged the forces of Hitler during World War II. “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense,” he urged in a speech October 29, 1941.
The Prime Minister could have pointed to the pages of Scripture for an example of the resilience necessary to overcome great obstacles. Nehemiah and his men relied on strength and endurance supplied by the Lord to ignore verbal abuse and to defeat physical attacks as they rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem. The same power is available to us as we carry out our responsibilities.
Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi to explain the source of our supernatural power. He told them we can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens us. This reinforced something Jesus told His disciples following His resurrection. He promised them the Holy Spirit would empower them for the ministry God wanted them to perform. The Spirit lives within the hearts of Jesus’ followers today, and He gives us the strength to persevere in all the challenges we face in life.
Writing to the church in Colosse, Paul instructed the new Christians on what their motivation should be as they tapped into God’s strength to carry out their duties. “Whatever you do,” he encouraged, “do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” As we persevere in our work, we must keep in mind that our first priority is to please God, and while we’re at it, to be a witness to those around us who are watching us in action.Reflection: In your quest for excellence at work, what pressures come from outside, and what pressures do you impose upon yourself? Who are you most concerned about pleasing: yourself, your co-workers, your boss, or God? How does your answer to this question affect what you do on the job? Post a Comment: How have you experienced God’s strength in your life and work?
Series: A Christian’s View of Work in the Military:
4. Hang In There