Do Work!    

  • Randy Karlberg
Man throwing a medicine ball at the wall

 I am not known for being very up to date on the latest trends, fashion, or slang words.  Basically, I don’t even try to fit in with my adult children in this regard for which they are very grateful.  Let’s face it, the only thing worse than an old guy not being tuned into current societal trends is one who thinks that he is current and keeps telling his kids he is “Jiggy wit it!”  As a matter of fact, many of the phrases that are currently espoused regularly by our younger citizens leave me with a most puzzled look on my face because I have no idea what they are referring to!  The only reason I would even try to repeat them is to give my children grief.  And yet I have found one phrase that has been uttered in the not too distant past that really strikes a chord.  That phrase is, “Do work.”  

This jargon is most often used between athletes and is basically referring to putting in the work ethic to excel in the sport you are discussing.  The higher level an athlete competes at, the more time, dedication, sacrifice, and out-right hard work it takes to be successful.  When athletics starts to become your job, you must treat it as such.  College students, for instance, who are receiving scholarship money to compete for a school must treat that as a job.  If they consider it a past-time, they will most likely not be on the scholarship list very long.  So when an athlete encourages a teammate to “Do work” they really are speaking to the excellence and work ethic that is required to be a successful athlete.  This phrase takes on a seriousness with which athletes can resonate.  They understand that you really only see the amount of benefit that you put into a sport or a calling.  

This principle plays out in other areas of life as well.  I am thinking of the “work” we do in growing in our love and knowledge of God’s Word.  We need to “Do work” in the Word to prepare us for the spiritual growth God has in store for us.  Take for instance the Bereans from Acts 17 as an example. When Paul and Silas went and talked with the Jews in Berea, we are told in verse 11, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”  Are you one who has your spiritual growth “spoon-fed” to you each week at church?  Do you rely on a podcast or a short devotional to give you your Bible fix for the day?  Or are you like the Bereans and you study on your own to see if what you are being taught in church is from God’s Word?  Do you get after the Bible on your own time?  This love for studying God’s Word does not just happen.  It takes work to stick with time in God’s Word.  We need to be people of the Word as the Bereans were.  Doing just a minimal amount of time in God’s Word is like getting some new workout gear, going to the gym, spending 10 minutes on a bike, getting a nice protein shake, and taking a shower.  That is not putting in work!  Sure, it may make you feel good about yourself like you did something. And technically I suppose it is more beneficial than doing nothing.  But in reality, it is not getting the job done regarding the growth that you are looking for and really need.  Are you as the Apostle Paul refers to in I Corinthians 3, spiritual babes who need spiritual milk because you are not mature enough for spiritual meat?  I am convinced that we who are believers in Jesus Christ need to start owning our own motivation for growing spiritually and not relying on others to nurse us with spiritual milk.  

I guess what I am coaxing both you and I to is getting serious with our time in God’s Word.  We need to know our Bible so well that when someone shares something that is not accurate we recognize it.  We need to be people of the Word that allow God’s Word to speak to our hearts and minds and change us!  We must see ourselves as the Bible sees us.  We need to be people who when we don’t spend time in the Bible, something is just not right with our day!  What I am talking about is a Biblical growth lifestyle.  This needs to be our job.  We need to take our time alone with God seriously.  What I am really trying to say is when you are referring to quality time in God’s Word we need to “Do work!”