All my life I’ve heard about working harder. You know what I mean: “Well, you’re doing great; you just need to work a little harder.” Work harder. It’s as American as Wal-Mart or Microsoft. But you know something? As many times as I’ve read the Bible, I can’t remember a single time God tells somebody to work harder. The Scriptures have a lot to say about good works, but none of it in the language of motivational management. It’s never, “Good job, Israel! Now let’s kick it up a notch!”
The Bible doesn’t make such fine distinctions as good-but-not-quite-good-enough. No, the language of the Bible is relentlessly black-and-white: good or evil, in or out of the Kingdom, new life in Christ or death in sin. It seems that from God’s point of view how much work we do doesn’t matter as much as whether or not our hearts are turned to him. We can work ourselves to death in the name of God and still die in our sins. But if our hearts are filled with repentance and a living faith in Jesus Christ, then our works take care of themselves—to the glory of God.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley