When I was a small boy I was told I had to put more effort into things or I would fail. Effort seemed like a word that always meant that I had to do more than I wanted to do, but I realized as I got older that effort brought satisfaction and reward. Sometimes that satisfaction of putting forth your best was the reward.
As followers of Christ we are asked to make every effort to be the salt and light of the world. We carry the burden of being the people who are to make the world a better place. That is done as we do our best to usher in the Kingdom of God. We are compelled to put forth our best and let the world see who we follow and what followship of Jesus truly means. Our calling requires that we do make the effort and walk the second mile. Additionally, we must work without expectation of worldly reward. Our reward comes from above and dwells within our inner souls.
Helen Keller said, “Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” Many people will not venture at a task unless they are assured success. The many and varied efforts we must put forth as Christ followers do not seem successful or necessary by worldly standards. Christians are surely called to live by other worldly standards. These standards are not achieved without great effort.
As we walk in this difficult time, we must ask ourselves:
What special effort have I put forth to make the world a better place?
Have I tried to present the Kingdom of God to those I encounter?
Have I made every effort to help the needy that are sent my way?
Have I tried to be a peacemaker?
Have I refrained from trying to get my way?
We must ask ourselves these and other questions as we determine if we are really putting forth an effort that is worthy of our calling as Christians.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means
effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.
― Theodore Roosevelt
Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
― Helen Keller
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
― Samuel Johnson, Johnsonian Miscellanies – Vol II
When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone (or for ourself) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.
― M. Scott Peck
Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.
― Sandra Day O’Connor
Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones to genius.
― Elbert Hubbard
To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.
― Bertrand Russell
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
~~2 Timothy 4:7
And whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be bold, and bring some of the fruit of the land.’ Now it was the season of the first ripe grapes.
With great pains I have provided for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold, one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it; timber and stone too I have provided. To these you must add more.
~~1 Chronicles 22:14
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing,
while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.
~~ Proverbs 13:4
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever else you get, get insight.
~~ Proverbs 4:7
For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
~~ Romans 14:9
Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.
Lord, In all things teach me that I will be rewarded in relation to the effort I put forth. Inspire me to know that I must put all of my efforts into achieving the goals that you have set forth before me. It is only when I do my very best and put all that I have into something that you bless me. Bless me, as well, when I’m utterly exhausted and barely able to continue. I know that you will be with me in the times when it simply takes an effort to keep on going.