Re-Post: Stay Hungry

Put your desire to work

“A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on” — Proverbs 16:26 (ESV)

If you follow current events, you know the economic news is mixed.  On one hand, the price of crude oil  has dropped to its lowest in a decade or more, making a gallon of gas much more affordable.  On the other hand, the falling price is creating a drag on the stock market.  Unemployment as reported by the US government is below 6%, but there are still nearly 95 million Americans who aren’t working  and who have given up looking or work.

Sunset on Constitution

It’s out there. Go find it!

So you may be one of those who is working or who is looking, or one of those who is waiting.  No matter which category you’re in, I want to encourage you to stay hungry.

Rick Warren has observed that it is the nature of every living thing to grow.  Mona Moon, a conference speaker I once heard, said it this way: “You’re either green and growing, or you’re ripe and rotting.”  The point being that a desire to continue developing — spiritually, personally, professionally, intellectually — is righteous, and your cultivation of that desire will serve you well in good and bad economic times.

What Lifetime Are You Waiting For?

Bill Hybels, in his book Axiom, posed the question: What lifetime are you waiting for?  For creative people who never get out of their sketchbooks, this question can get you moving.  Wishes and dreams are useful, and having a big vision can motivate you to accomplish great things.  But if all these dreams don’t result in actions on the part of the dreamer, they are just theory.  Five years from now, the world will be the less for your failure to act today.  And you’ll be five years older, regardless.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

The fear of failure can be powerful, but like most other fears, most of its power derives from the authority we grant to it.  We grant authority to fear because we anticipate the consequences of a negative outcome.  This is actually a good thing, as it keeps us from bobbing for french fries or cuddling with alligators.  The trouble comes when we generalize this beneficial knowledge of consequences and we imagine terrible things resulting simply from our leaving our respective comfort zones.

If your imagination runs off with your courage, harness your imagination and make it do your bidding. Sit and think through the absolute worst thing that could happen — then think through how likely or unlikely that worst scenario is, and how you’d recover if the worst did happen.  You may decide your fears were silly.  Or you may decide that the risks are too great and the view isn’t worth the climb. In either case, you won’t give fear the last word, and you’ll make better decisions as a result.

Whose Life Is It Anyway?

God has given gifts and talents to each of us, and He means for us to put them to work.  The biblical parable of the talents illustrates  that God is looking for a return on His investment.  This is the ultimate opportunity for authenticity, for true greatness. You discover your God-given purpose in part through what you love to do and take the next step.  Then God opens the next step, then the next.

This isn’t a magic formula, it’s completely individual.  All I know is that a man is rarely, if ever,  called to be inert.  If you’re called to make a difference by working at a low-paying job to be more available to do hands-on service, do that.  If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s never been a better time to launch a business — just do your homework and get the expertise you need.  If you’re already financially successful, look around and see what worthy work could use your financial acumen, your experience and or your financial support.  And if you’re restless where you are right now, God can be in that, too.  Do your best work and keep your antennae up.

So how about you?  How are you committed to continuous growth in the things that matter?  Add your comments below.


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One thought on “Re-Post: Stay Hungry

  1. “God has given gifts and talents to each of us, and He means for us to put them to work.”

    At the dawn of history, when God was drawing to a close his own creative work, a divine mandate was issued that we should have dominion over the works of his hands. I stand before him, incredibly convicted of the truth that I have already failed this mandate; I have fallen short of this glory. When Jesus tells me the parable of the talents, I cannot fancy myself that I am the faithful and wise servant who put the grace of God to work. In the presence of his Son, I know that I am he who squanders the opportunity which God’s majesty has afforded the children of man. What hope of glory could I know as God’s creation, for already I am born under the curse of Adam’s futility in labor (Gen 3:17-19).

    Yet, the gracious word of God, including this divine mandate, is not bound unto folly. There is great hope. There is hope with unparalleled majesty, a majesty even equal to the vey God which issued such a glorious mandate. What hope is this?

    “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Col 1:27-29)

    This changes everything. The glorious mystery is exactly this: Christ in me, the very hope of glory. How great are the riches of this glorious mystery? The upright, unblemished, beloved Son of God lives in me. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me! This is the foundation and the root of all true hope! God is well-pleased with him because he always does the things that are pleasing to him. He is faithful in God’s house, not as a servant but as a Son. He delights to do the will of God, he came for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will, and he has been given total dominion– even fulfilling this very ancient mandate from God!

    What’s more, look at how this changes the understanding of this mandate and the aspiration of work. Again, the richness of this glorious mystery is Christ himself, the very hope of glory, alive in me. He is at work in me– and powerfully so this passage says! Him we proclaim, warning and teaching to present everyone mature, that is, mature in him. The hope of maturity for man is in the life and work of the Son of God. All of my toil is this. All of my struggle is this. Yet, again, it is his glory and his work proclaimed. The very energy of my toil and struggle is actually his toil and his struggle powerfully at work within me.

    The motivation and aspiration to heed the creative mandate of God has become swallowed up and finds its satisfaction only through the divine mandate of the great commission of Christ. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to him, that is all dominion has been given to him. He does not fail to work out the dominion given to him as I, and we, failed to work out the dominion given to us in Adam. It is precisely because of his great dominion that we go and proclaim him in every corner of the world, baptizing the nations into the very name of God’s glory.

    I work, because Christ is so powerfully at work in me. The very gift of his grace, this hope of glory in me, he faithfully and powerfully puts to work through me. By grace I was saved from the failure I inherited through my forefathers in the flesh. This grace saved me unto the good works which he established beforehand, that I should walk in them. He who began a good work in me will see it through to completion in the great Day of Jesus Christ.

    “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (Jhn 9:4-5)