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Effort

Effort Definition



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.

Quotes BannerAll the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.

― 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


Scripture BannerI 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.

~~Numbers 13:20

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,

~~Psalm 73:16

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.

~~Ecclesiastes 9:10

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

~~Galatians 6:9Prayer BannerPrayer

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.

Amen

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Success

From Brown Book Magazine:1904

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“I am going to work with Christ today, for the salvation of my soul, for that is the reward he gives.”

Sayings of the Desert


Whether it is the words of a great writer or a committed monk of the desert, the formula for success seems to be the same. Success is expressed by what we accomplish outside of ourselves by giving to others. Jesus said, “…when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind. And you will be blessed because they can’t repay you.” Jesus makes it quite clear that hospitality or works that only have potential payback are not a key to the doorway of success. The essence of success is leaving more thaRalph-Waldo-Emerson-1fn you take. In doing so, your success provides for the welfare of all. Those who provide for the welfare of all find themselves immeasurably rewarded.

There is not one among us who does not seek success. For some, success is big and glowing but for others, it is far simpler. Our skill set, goals and definition of success are all factors in our ultimate success, but one thing remains constant, Those who act only out of selfish motives never find peace. A person who has no peace is not successful no matter how they appear on the outside. One who spends life laughing, loving, and enjoying has the ability to motivate and help others to grow. A person who seeks God in all work will find Him in multiple places. Never think of yourself as “merely” anything, but see yourself as one who contributes greatly to the world. The key word is always – CONTRIBUTE. Our lives will ultimately be measured by our contribution.


Prayer

Lord help me to see the needs of others around as being as important as mine. Lead me to give more than I take and receive graciously what I am given. Let every moment of my work be a time of prayer that is guided toward you. Let my days be filled with laughter and joy and my nights with rest and peace. Please allow me to contribute to the successes of others and to be at peace while doing so. My I leave a trail of abundance as I go about my days. Let me leave more than I take.

Amen

graciously what I am given. Let every moment of my work be a time of prayer that is guided toward you. Let my days be filled with laughter and joy and my nights with rest and peace. Please allow mw to contribute to the successes of others and to be at peace while doing so. My I leave abundance as I go about my days. Let me leave more than I take.

Amen

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Filed under Desert Fathers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Success