The poet has aptly put this thought into words:
Let me but do my work from day to day,
In field or forest, at desk or loom,
In roaring market-place or tranquil room;
Let me but find it in my heart to say,
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray,
“This is my work; my blessing, not my doom;
Of all who live, I am the one by whom
This work can best be done in the right way.”
Then shall I see it not too great, nor small,
To suit my spirit and to prove my powers;
Then shall I cheerful greet the laboring hours,
And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall
At eventide, to play and love and rest,
Because I know for me my work is best.
– Henry Van Dyke
A twentieth-century prophet, A. W. Tozer, has expressed the same principle:
We must offer all of our acts to God and believe that He accepts them, then hold firmly to that position, and keep insisting that every act of every hour of every day and night be included…. Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all of our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.
Whatever ye do, do your work heartiIy, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve (Colossians 3:23-24).
Clearly then, to perform all our deeds to bring honor to His name, to please Him, and to do it in the spirit of thankfulness and heartiness is to build our self-respect, our self-love.
IF YOU DON’T. . .
One important reason for this is that behavior which falls short of biblical standards will cause you unrest, anxiety, worry, and tension. You pay a great price when you depart from truth, integrity, and honesty.
A goal for you might be the same one that Paul gave to Timothy:
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe (1 Timothy 4:12).
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Everyone, every day, faces a multitude of choices. Your sense of self-respect, of loving yourself, depends upon making those choices within the framework of commandments you choose to follow.
Consider seriously what Jesus told His disciples:
Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
Finally, consider these verses:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
If you use God’s commandments as the basis for your behavior, you are on the way to becoming indestructible.
1. Your behavior toward _____________ is important to building self-respect.
2. Interacting with people often reveals what type of behavior?
3. The Bible says that our hearts are deceitful. How can we know our own hearts?
4. What are the four guidelines highlighted by the author that the Bible gives for making choices?
5. If you use _________________________________ as the basis for your behavior, you are on the way to becoming indestructible.
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Continue on to Lesson 6.