We are running a fortnightly bible study following our community dinner looking at the exegesis (interpretation) of the bible passages that underpin each of our community values. You can read the list of Values here so you know what’s coming up next.
These values can be relevant whatever context you live and work in just make the Word you own.
Value 7: Doing the hard yards
We value servanthood in the big and the small – choosing to do the “crappy” stuff. We want to be people of personal and spiritual maturity (enduring personal cost) in order that the vision is accomplished.
Biblical basis: James 5:7-11
Let’s read the value together. What stands out?
“We value” – this is about making personal choices to value things differently than most of the rest of the world… not a flashy project, it doesn’t attract attention.
Trusting there is purpose in the crappy stuff.
Need to acknowledge the way our current situation impacts my approach to this value, how would my/our interpretation differ if we weren’t crisis.
Is it ‘given’ that in order for the vision to be accomplished, it needs to cost me?
James 5: 7-10
My friends, be patient as you wait for the Lord to return. Be as patient as the farmers. Farmers sow their crops and then have to wait patiently, hoping for good seasonal rains, because the harvest that pays their bills ripens in its own good time. There is nothing they can do to hurry it up. You can’t hurry the Lord up either, so be patient. Stay focused though, and condition yourselves, because the arrival of the Lord is not far off.
My friends, don’t go whinging and putting each other down. If you do, you’ll find yourselves having to answer for it. The judge could reopen the case against you at any moment.
Take as your role models the prophets who brought us God’s message in the past. They really suffered for their stand, but they hung in there, never giving up, and their patience paid off. 11 That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.
©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
“This work could be a prayer; its results should not concern me”
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
Read the bible. What words/ideas stand out? What can we learn from the bible about living the Value of “Doing the hard yards”?
Being patient sounds passive – I’m bad at that!
It’s not passive it’s active! “stay focused”… “condition yourselves”… farmers till, plant, fertilise, prepare the soil… still required to exercise what is within your ability to influence, power, control. There are things we can do but then there are things we can’t… we have to rely on God for those.
Begin work or make choices with an outcome in mind but often things don’t go as we plan, despite this things work out.
You have to do what you can and trust the other stuff to happen.
Often in Christian circles the personal cost component can become competitive and be worn as a badge-of-honour.
Perspective makes a difference – choosing, for example, to work part time could be perceived as a ‘cost’ but for us, from our perspective it feels like an opportunity.
You can love different people if you put you mind to it. A lot of people don’t go out of their way… instead they love to put people down.
Standing up for someone when you notice the truth. When they can’t stand up for themselves.
Taking this idea of where our influence ends and God’s begins let’s write down on these “seeds” what we know and what we don’t know, doing what we can, planting them and leaving the growing to God remembering “we need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and imperfections”
…all we can do is plant our seeds and trust that the outcomes that come, while not what we might imagine, work toward the vision of God being accomplished.