The Bonus of Perseverance

The Bonus of Perseverance

Did you ever notice that if you start making progress in one area of your life it seems to affect other areas?  Sometimes the effect is progress in a new area.  Bonus! :)   Sometimes the effect is neglect in a different arena because so much energy is being spent elsewhere.  Bummer! :(

For example:  cleaning.  I start making in progress in one room.  Meanwhile, as my attention is focused “elsewhere”, my kids are tearing apart a different room! That’s the bummer part.   However, as I grow in becoming more disciplined in organizing our home, the self-control spills over in to my eating habits, schedule, and such.  Bonus!!! 😀

But self-discipline is HARD!   It’s easy for me to become discouraged when I’m not making progress in keeping my home tidy.  I’m trying!  Really, I am.  And then I look around at the new messes that were created while I washed dishes. Grrrrrrr! It makes me wonder why I even try!  I am not seeing the bonus at this point.

But this morning I remembered something.  See, I’m studying James with some other moms in the area, and the book opens up  with some verses that bring me hope:

  • “Consider it pure joy, my brothers {sisters} whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he {she} should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given.”  James 1:2-5

Maybe keeping up on dishes is not a “trial” for you.  It is for me.  It’s not the persecution the early church that originally received this letter was facing.  But it is most definitely a “testing of [MY] faith.”  And sometimes the fight does not seem worth it as I look at where I seem to be losing ground (ie: the growing laundry pile or toy-strewn living room).  But the scrubbing of pots and pans isn’t effort in vain!  It’s producing that perseverance stuff!  It’s growing me. 

So I keep trying.  (And I fail.) But I keep trying.  I guess that’s called perSEVERance: it feels severe at times!  I’m not to that point of being “mature and complete.”  I don’t think I will be until God calls me to my forever home.  But it’s nice to know I’m closer than I was.  And I ask for His wisdom in knowing the best way to fight this battle, face my trials.  It’s even nicer to know God will give it generously! And I’m not alone!

My trial, my joy…depends on how ya look at it!

How about you? What’s your trial/joy? 






6 Responses »

  1. Self-discipline… training… learning…healing… becoming… cleaning… daily chores… they take so much work, and seem SOOOOO thankless
    They have things in common.
    They all take TIME (and lots of it!!!)
    The work (drudgery) comes first, now, and the payoff comes WWAAYYY later, and maybe not in our lifetime
    The complete opposite of “results-driven” behavior,
    Not at all in accordance with the laws of Immediate Gratification.

    I think that’s where older generations understand better. “There is a time for every season…” People were more accepting of the realities that things worthwhile take time. They didn’t have such unrealistic expectations, and they didn’t expect them NOW.

    I guess the best thing to say about these kinds of feelings…. well “there’s a word for that — NORMAL”

    I don’t worry about how you’re handling your frustrations the way I worry about how your brother is handling his.

    You’ll be fine, some more…. you’re right where you need to be. And you’re not dead from the neck up!!!

  2. Our family has been reading and studying the book of James since September (and will finish the entire book by May). It is an amazing book, one I think I have rarely thought about before now. Lots of good gems in there!

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