But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
Jesus tells a group of religious leaders a short story in Matthew 21. He tells them about two sons both of which were asked to go to work. The first son said no but after thinking about it decided he better get to it, so he ended up going to work. The second son said, “Yes, I will go” but then never actually does. Jesus asked which son was obedient? Of course, it was the son that actually went to work. You see, our words can only get us so far before they require us to take some action.
The grit God has given us (2 Timothy 1:7) is to be used in our every day lives, not just in the toughest moments of life, but all the time. God expects us to live out our faith and not to just talk about it. He expects us to actually do what we say. If we say we believe in Jesus then our life and actions need to reflect that belief. We need to be doers. He expects us to take what He has given us, the Spirit of grit, and actually do something with it. That means we need to live a gritty life.
Another way He explains this is in the story of the talents in Matthew 25. Three servants are given some talents. Two of the servants do something with the talents given and multiply them. The third servant just protects the one given because he is afraid to lose it. He doesn’t want to take the risk. So, he does nothing with it. He is called the lazy and wicked servant and the master takes the talent from him.
The things God has given us are meant to be used. We are supposed to take a risk with them in order to be obedient to God and be a doer of His word. That is what James mean when he says we need to be a doer and not just a listener. He means we have been given a spirit of power, well we better display that power. We have a spirit of love, well we better love. We have a spirit of discipline, well we better show some discipline. In almost every case it will require some grit.
God has not given us a spirit of laziness or called us to a life of ease. He has given us a spirit of grit – a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. God has given us the necessary talent to expand His Kingdom. We are called to use it, to take the risk, and live a gritty life. God is ready to use that gritty life to change lives and make Kingdom impacts. Be gritty. Live gritty.
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.