Imagine the quality of one’s craft it wasn’t tainted in any way by the influence of sin.
Stellar work ethic, perpetual pursuit of excellence, impeccable character…
Paul says in Philippians 3:14:
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:14)
The “prize” he refers to goes beyond business cards and checking accounts. It’s a mindset that focuses on something greater than one’s self that leads to a life well lived and subsequently directs people to Christ having earned the right to be heard by reeking of excellence (Matt 5:16).
Being obedient to Christ means that I am laboring to defeat all of those tendencies within me that limit the Purpose, the Peace and the Power of God working in an through me (Phil 2:13).
I want to win (Eph 6:12).
I want to win the contest that occurs every waking moment of my life between the strengths that lead me to the mountain top and the excuses that put me in the gutter. I don’t want to merely prosper as much as I want to succeed for the same reason a runner wants to run a good race and not simply run a good lap (Josh 1:8).
The gentleman that you see pictured above suffers from the all to common approach to discipleship that restricts the application of God’s Spirit to noble acts of ministry. While it’s not uncommon to categorize life either as a secular or sacred activity, salvation was not engineered to be either / or but both /and. It’s when we make a point of recognizing the Divine Signature of Purpose that’s attached to every second of our existence, it’s then we’re able to experience the motivation, the energy and the passion that defines the difference between getting “through it” versus getting “to it.”
This is why I make a point of spending some time everyday with my King. If I have access to a Resource that’s 100% right 100% of the time and has my best interests at heart, why would I not want to pick His brain every chance I get? This is why I’m a diligent student of Scripture (2 Tim 2:15), this is why I maintain a constant line of communication with my Heavenly Father (1 Thess 5:16-18). This is why I “press on” to be spiritually ripped.
I think Jesus was an amazing carpenter. I think He crafted furniture in a way that was nothing short of exemplary simply because He was obedient to His Father who asks that we do everything to the very best of our ability (Ecc 9:10; Col 3:17). Fact is, Jesus wasn’t the kind of man you would want to hire, He was the kind of man you would want to promote.
Don’t deny yourself the perpetual optimism, the steady confidence and all the practical advantages that a relationship with Christ brings to the table. When you target Him as both your Reason to succeed as well as the Source of all that is needed to succeed, there isn’t anything in your life that shouldn’t be exceptional and worthy of imitation (Jn 10:10; 2 Cor 9:8).