blog--2014-02--on holinessIf you want to see my roll my eyes (on the inside, of course) quicker than anything else, there is one phrase that gets me beyond all others: “But I worked really hard!”

Usually following a failing measure or an incomplete project or a missed deadline, “but I worked really hard” seems to be the new excuse. I ask: When did this become the measure of success? When did this ambiguous measure justify unsuccessful results?

I heard it in graduate school. How grades should be given based on how hard someone worked, not on their results. I challenged the notion, saying that if a math genius spends 2 minutes on a problem to answer it correctly and an orator spends 200 minutes on a problem but gets it wrong, should they both get the same grade? How does one quantify “hard enough”? Why should the gifted be penalized for not having to try as hard? The justifications continued.

So I asked a different question: do you want a civil engineer to get a degree based on how hard they worked or based on whether they got the right answers or not? On which bridge do you want to drive? Do you want a surgeon who tried really hard? Or one who actually knows how to remove your appendix without killing you?

Though I vehemently argue against it, I find myself using the same excuses personally. I thought a lot about doing that thing, I just haven’t actually done it. But can I get credit for the thinking?

The truth is, no. God declares, “be holy, as I am holy”. Not “try really hard”, or “give it a shot” “Be holy.” Period.

What about grace, compassion, and mercy? He gives those too. Because we cannot be holy. But we can be fully committed to Him. Fully committed to “be” + grace, mercy, and compassion = holiness in God’s eyes. Where your commitment falters, remember He calls you to “be holy.” Jesus does not short-change holiness. He fills in the gaps we cannot possibly bridge. But those steps we can do and choose not to do are ours to conquer. Those are the steps when thinking about it, or trying really hard to maybe try and step when He cleared the path already just doesn’t cut it.

Do the thing. And get on with it.

2 comments on “On Doing the Thing and Getting on with It…

  1. Cindy Diehl

    I love this post. I remember in high school, the mantra was, “Effort Counts”…we have become a society where everyone gets a trophy just for participation, rather than rewarding those who succeed and get the job done or win. Great post!

    1. Jenn Post author

      I agree! I still believe we have to make an effort, even if it doesn’t succeed or meet our goals. However, outcomes have to matter too!

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