How Hard Will You Work? 
Colossians 3:23

Colossians 3:23 Every year I dreaded September. Why? Because September was the start of conditioning for varsity basketball. Conditioning meant one thing. Lots and lots of sweat. We ran miles, we did countless wind springs—40,60,100's. We ran stairs and hills, we pushed cars and jumped rope. We did lateral slides. Oh, the joy of conditioning.

One thing kept us motivated. Just as our sides would ache, Coach would say, "Remember the 4th quarter." What he meant was this. Sometime during the season, we'd be in the 4th quarter of an important game. The other team, Coach said, would be out of breath, but we'd still have fresh legs because we ran that extra set of 100's and pushed our selves up that last set of stairs.

He was right. Coach had us in the best shape of our lives. He taught us one thing. If you're going to do something, its worth doing well.

I hear young people all the time. They tell me they want to be a lawyer or a doctor or a nurse or a youth pastor or a musician. But they really don't want to put the work in. They sort of expect life to happen to them.

You see, everyone one of us has a God-given talent. But God expects us to work hard. Colossians 3:23 says that whatever you do, work heartily, not for men, but for the Lord. You see, its the Lord who gave you the gift and so the Lord expects you to work that gift for His glory.

Every display of talent—whether its hurling a major-league fastball with pinpoint control, belting out a perfect vibrato, penning a bestselling novel, designing a space shuttle—each is a testament, not to the person who own the gift, but to the Creator who gave the gift.

Sometimes Christians act as if utilizing their God-given gifts to their maximum ability is somehow contrary to God's will. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, to shortcut, to slack, to fail to work hard at what you are good at in order to get better—this is what displeases the Savior most.

So do what the Bible says. Whatever you do, do it well, not for the applause of men, but for the applause of God.

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at twitter.com/dandarling, or check out his website: danieldarling.com