Sunday, May 18, 2014

You May Abound in Every Good Work

There are some things at which I am NOT very good. It is not from lack of trying…please believe me, I give it my best. I really do. Three or four examples pop into my mind but for this, I’ll use math. I am terrible in certain areas of math just as I am awful on some levels when it comes to relationships. Algebra is a perfect illustration. I can wrap my head around it to a degree but I do not fully grasp it. It takes me hours to complete and I forget the steps and rules shortly after learning or refreshing my memory regarding them.

Great effort is always given by me, to the point of exhaustion and being burnt out, in fact. Yet, I do not give up but rather continue plugging away at something that will never stop challenging me. There are just elements about it that I will not be able to understand or work out. So do I continue banging my head against a wall, simplify it as much as possible, or wash my hands of it completely? And what will the repercussions be for my decision? In this case, Algebra.

Being a Bachelor of Business Administration major requires Algebra, Calculus, and Statistics. I have to have the bachelor’s degree so I cannot get rid of math out right. I can and did, however, switch my degree to a Bachelor’s of General Studies. No Algebra required. And, I will still fulfil the bachelor’s degree requirement for law school. Win/ win as far as I can tell. Likewise, relationships are necessary in life. I have to maintain various ones so walking away from them does not appear to be a wise idea. What then?

Simplify.

How? Well, it depends on the situation. Each is different. But, with a little thought and a lot of prayer, a remedy (regardless of longevity) will present itself.

Further, I look to Pastor John Piper to remind me where my mindset should be:
I can imagine some American pragmatist saying, "What practical difference would it make in my business planning whether I believe my life is a vapor? Do I stop planning, because my life may be short or uncertain?" I think James would say, "No, you don't stop planning. You don't drop out of society. You don't become a hermit, waiting for your little vapor of life to disappear."

So what is the point? The point is that for James, and for God, it matters whether a true view of life informs and shapes the way you think and how you speak about your plans. Your mindset matters. How you talk about your plans matters. Ponder this. Believing that your life is a vapor may make no practical, bottom-line difference in whether you plan to do business in a place for one month or one year or ten years. But, in James' mind - and he speaks for God - it makes a difference how you think about it and talk about it. "Come now you who say . . ."

Why? Why does that matter? Because God created us not just to do things and go places with our bodies, but to have certain attitudes and convictions and verbal descriptions that reflect the truth - a true view of life and God. God means for the truth about himself and about life to be known and felt and spoken as part of our reason for being. You weren't just created to go to Denver and do business; you were made to go to Denver with thoughts and attitudes and words that reflect a right view of life and God.
( By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org)

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8. ESV.)
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