Christian Living

Hard work or working hard?

We all work hard.

I can’t think of the last time I met a pastor who was truly lazy.

Instead, what I most often see, and what took me years to get past…

I have a tendency to replace hard work with working hard.

In other words, if I have some hard work to do in my life, things like:

  • Maybe I know I need to invest in a relationship I don’t want to invest in.
  • Maybe I need to repair a relationship I’ve busted.
  • Maybe I need to make a hard decision that will be unpopular.
  • Maybe I need to turn someone away.
  • Or turn down a proposal.
  • Or walk away from something I love.

In those times, I try real hard to escape the hard work by working real hard.

I can fill my calendar like a champ. I can make myself look really busy. And I can work really, really hard from dawn until way past midnight.

But I think God’s revealed to me that I most often do that when I’m avoiding hard work in my life.

It’s easy to confuse the two because the words are so similar. But one is noble while the other is ignoble.

Question: What are stop-gap measures for this that have worked for you?

hmm... thoughts

4 Things Talent Can’t Overcome

Let me say this first– talent is overrated.

I’ll take someone driven, or visionary, or hard-working over just talented any day. I actually think we falsely label hard-workers or fast-learners or fail-fasters as talented all the time as a way to make ourselves feel better about our inadequacies.

That said, talent isn’t everything. In fact talent can lead to nothing quite easily!

Here are 4 things talent can’t overcome

  1. Laziness – It doesn’t matter how good you are at something, if you’re lazy and you don’t deliver on time or do the right things… you’ll fail every time.
  2. Bad timing –  This would be a horrible time to develop a talent on the accordion. Or get really good at writing code for the Palm Pilot. Success in the present age is about timing. It’s not good enough to be talented. You have to be talented at the things that people are looking for.
  3. Immaturity – Maturity brings the wisdom to know what to do with talent.
  4. Character flaws – No one cares how talented you are when you’re a jerk or a liar or if you step on kittens tails.

The other side of this coin is pretty fantastic. We all have something which could be labeled a talent. That’s the very nature of a free market society. I have skills/talents in one thing and you have talent/skills in another. So we trade goods. Or I trade your good for cash.

If we all had equal aptitude life would be pretty boring.

hmm... thoughts

Run Your Moobs Off

Yes. I just went there. Seinfeld jokes never go out of style.

Moobs – Unsightly man boobies.

Forget all of that Biggest Looser emotional stuff about being fat. “I don’t want my kids to know their dad is fat. I want to live longer. I need a new strart.” Yada. Yada. Yada. That’s all just TV psychobabble to me. If it works for you, awesome. But that show just makes me hungry. I love that there is a commercial during the weigh-ins so I have time to refill my ice cream bowl.

One thing I hate about being out of shape is where all of those extra candy bars, slices of pizza, and cheeseburgers end up. The belly, the butt, and for me… my upper chest. Blech.

And since I have the kind of friends who aren’t shy about pointing out my moobs I figure it’s probably time to do something about them.

So the last couple of weeks my running mantra has been: Run your moobs off.

Sure. It’s a bit crass. And surely it’s not Oprah approved. But it’s silly and makes me giggle and work hard at the same time. Right now, I’m about halfway to my initial goal of running a 5K without stopping and with just 5 weeks to go… I have many more hours of running my moobs off to go.

No easy way out

Whether I’m around professional golfers or big-time Christian leaders– one thing has been clear: It’s not merely that they are talented. It’s that they took a little bit of talent, a golden opportunity, and out-worked all of their peers to become the best.

The same thing is available to all of us.

Some people look at successful people with jealous eyes. They think, “Surely, they just got lucky.” Probably a little bit. But they also took the good fortune of an opportunity and made something out of it. Whatever their specialty is they have worked harder and smarter than you have.


Whatever your goal is… there’s no easy option coming.

For me, right now, it’s to run this 5K. For you? I don’t know what your goal is. But I do know this one fact:

You’ll just have to run your moobs off.