Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas Edison
The energy and strength needed to work hard is typically fueled by the combination of focused passion, clear purpose and the right priorities. A person whose passion, purpose and priorities are aligned in this way won’t need a pep talk to get them started. They are highly motivated to tackle any challenge set before them in order to achieve their goal. The Apostle Paul is a great example of this principle.
“Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you.” (1 Thessalonians 2:9 NLT)
Imagine a highly motivated athlete who has focus and intensity as he prepares to compete at his very best. He draws energy and discipline from his commitment to be ready for the challenge. He loves to compete. He knows that in order to compete well, he has to work hard at practice and prepare himself for the competition.
A dedicated musician doesn’t need anyone to remind her to practice. She feels her passion, she knows her purpose and she sets the right priorities. They are what energize her to spend hours preparing for a performance. She loves making music. Hours pass like minutes.
What passions, purpose and priorities give you the energy and strength to work hard for your particular goal or prize? Most importantly, what costs are you willing to pay to achieve the prize you hope to gain?
Working hard can either be a blessing or a curse. It can be healthy or unhealthy. There is always the danger of becoming so driven by a passion that your only desire is to achieve more. When this happens, you lose sight of your true purpose and priorities. A workaholic is so addicted to activity that he doesn’t give much thought to the price he is paying. Always keep a clear image of what true victory looks like. Have others hold you accountable so you stay focused on your true purpose and right priorities.
As a Christian leader your hard work must be framed with an eternal purpose and perspective. Working hard to the glory of God, when we are fueled by our passion to serve Him well and are guided by His purpose and priorities, results in an everlasting prize. Your work is an act of ministry and worship. Always remember to take time to rest and keep a sense of rhythm and balance between work and play. You have to be well rested in order to do hard work.
Be intentional about glorifying God through your work today. Make sure your passions and priorities are aligned with God’s purpose for your life and leadership. This approach will give you endless energy to tackle hard work today in His strength.