If you look at the banner at the top you will see that I am dressed as a bear. I was hosting a talent show at our student ministries summer camp when this photo was taken. I was having an awesome time, even if my face may appear to say otherwise—bear suits can get a little hot. And this isn’t any off-the-rack, Halloween store bear suit. This beast of an undertaking was custom tailored by my former admin Jo Ann and her friend over the course of a few weeks. I think making it broke at least three sewing machines.
Creating this costume was a long hard labor of love that she did entirely off the clock. In terms of practical use at summer camps and youth groups the bear suit has gotten maybe four hours of practical use in front of students. At this point many reasonable people start thinking about logic and efficiency and bring up questions of whether it was worth the time and effort she put in if it was going to be used so little. And I answer with a resounding YES!
There is an unfortunate trend that is happening in churches, ministries, and unfortunately in the hearts of Christians today. It is the simple, but dangerous, thought of “What’s the least we can do that’s still effective?” When the question we should really be asking is, “What is the best we can do?” As Christians, we have been called to a higher purpose, but our worldly minds tug us towards laziness.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” If we can hold on to this perspective it can cause our hard work to make more sense. Yes, sometimes it feels like you’re pushing a rock up a hill. Or you feel that it’s not going to bear any fruit. Or you dressed up in a silly bear suit that’s too hot and a little itchy. In all we do we must keep focus on the one we are doing it for not the immediate rewards we might receive. We don’t do this to gain extra favor. We don’t do this to earn salvation. We work hard because it is the right thing to do.
What’s the best you can do?