“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
Have you ever noticed the beautiful rhythm of Olympic runners?
Their mechanical strides are so impressive that it’s almost hard to believe they’re human. Their eyes stay fixed as if crossing the finish line is their sole purpose in life. Neither the roaring of the crowd nor the commotion on the sidelines is enough to shift their vision.
What discipline! I could use some of that in my everyday life. Imagine being so mission-minded that nothing could break your focus. Imagine procrastination not creeping its way into everything you set out to do.
Sometimes it’s life. Things happen that slow us down, hurt us and even force us to stop and press the reset button on everything we thought we knew.
Sometimes, though, it’s not life. It’s not circumstances. It’s just us.
On more than a few days, I’ve spent too much time on social media or binge-watched half a season’s worth of TV shows. Then I look back on my progress with my everyday tasks and cringe at the lack of productivity.
After a momentary episode of shame and blame, I promise myself I’ll do better. And for a day or two, I do. It’s not long, though, before procrastination comes showing its awful face again.
You’ve probably experienced this same cycle of planning-procrastinating-failing-regretting. The truth is, this cycle will continue for as long as we let it … until we develop some godly grit.
While God is gracious and appreciates our efforts, how awesome would it be to overcome the habits that keep us from reaching our greatest potential in Him?
I think we all want that, deep down. So what is this godly grit, and where do we get it?
First, let’s talk about grit. Merriam-Webster defines it as “firmness of mind or spirit, unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” That alone could help me to stop scrolling Facebook and take care of some priorities!
But how do we do this in a way that honors God and doesn’t become about our own ability to be disciplined?
Therein lies the “godly” part. Second Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” If our motivation comes only from what our eyes can behold, we’ll give up as soon as things look bleak. Instead, we can turn to God and use His eternal rewards as the reason for our perseverance.
In this verse, Paul was talking about his ministry and how the struggles of this life weren’t enough to make him quit. That’s huge coming from someone who was being physically persecuted for spreading the gospel. In verse 17, he said, “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory” (CSB).
What amazes me here is the word “light.” When we look at Paul’s situation, we see there was nothing light about it. That’s the thing, though. He wasn’t looking at his situation. Like Olympic runners zoom in on their goal, Paul had his eyes fixed on his eternity. He knew everything we experience here on earth is light compared to the glory God has in store for us.
Of course, it doesn’t always feel light. We have every earthly reason to feel sad, to grieve loss or to simply spend too much time on Instagram when it’s been a long day. However, if we could muster up the godly grit that Paul had, we’d see that while sometimes we have every reason to give up, we absolutely shouldn’t.
There’s a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Every earthly thing is temporary. That’s every heartache, every disappointment and every overwhelming moment that makes us feel like it’s OK to put off our calling for just one more day. While most of us won’t do all that Paul did, to minister simply means to serve, and we each have that ability.
It’s found at the intersection of God’s great grace for us and our fervent commitment to Him. That’s where we’re our absolute best selves. And that’s the place of godly grit.
God, thanks for Your patience on the days I do much less than I could. Help me to develop godly grit and do everything You’re asking of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Galatians 6:9, “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” (CSB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
How do you stop procrastination in its tracks? What are your go-to verses for maintaining godly grit? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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