Have you ever heard the saying: "Hard work pays off." Basically, you put in the work and reap the rewards later. Let me be honest... I use to despise this growing up. As kids we all want instant gratification. We see what the end result will be, but we don't see the in-between work needed to get there. Rightfully so, as we've never had to do the hard work to reap the reward(s).
As adults that's our responsibility. We have the honor of being an example to our kids (or kids you teach, coach, mentor, etc.) and showing them what the in-between looks like leads us to enjoying the rewards, together, when we reap the rewards of the hard work. This is the same in our walks with the Lord - discipleship. Someone showing / living out Christ example in front of us.
In his book Shaken, Tim Tebow, says: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work as hard." The New Year is fast approaching and with that comes New Year resolutions. Lots of people are going to put in hard work to meet those resolutions. Some will stick it out and others will fall flat. We ask you, what truly matters? Personal goals or kingdom goals? Self gratification or kingdom glory?
Let us be upfront. We're not saying personal goals don't matter. John Maxwell says, "Growth is the great separator of those who succeed long term from those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, It's almost always due to personal growth."
The Bible reminds us that our bodies are a temples of the Holy Spirit and we should take care of our temples both physically and mentally i.e. personal growth (I Corinthians 6:19-20), but kingdom goals - God's plans for our lives - should always be first. Put in the work spiritually and His personal goals, for your life, will follow.
Back to what Tim Tebow was saying, hard work beats talent. God has given us all unique talents. Talents to bring him glory and further his kingdom. Talents don't give you the right to sit back an cruise through life. Hard work to tone and perfect these talents is needed. We believe this is what Tebow is saying. God doesn't want you to sit back and cruise through life based on your talents. The world is going to test your talents aka put your feet to the fire. This is where the hard work comes into play and beats talent. Talents get you to a certain place, but the hard work will help you succeed in the overall goal of kingdom glory.
Let me give you an example:
I've been gifted with the ability to succeed at physical activity. Know I'm not saying I'm always #1, but there hasn't been a sport that I haven't been able to accomplish or succeed at. Through a relationship with Christ he has directed me to a career of outdoor ministries. Physical ability is kind of a job requirement - this is the talent part of it. The hard work side has to be put in (physical training, Biblical knowledge, nonprofit education, building respect / meeting with people, involving yourself in the community, etc.) in order for me to use my talent to ultimately bring glory to God and further his kingdom i.e. hard work beats talent.
We know this is difficult / challenges some of the things you've heard about Christianity or have been taught. I hear so many people say: "I'm saved by faith." True. This is 1 part of it. Your faith in Christ doesn't give you a free pass to kick back and cruise. No. You're now on the team, but hard work gets you in the game / keeps you in the game! Together we will all get to reap the rewards.
His mission isn't complete, thus our personal kingdom goals are not complete. Keep working, keep training, and keep sharing until the mission is complete!
Thanks and God Bless!
PC: Spending time training with my wife!