Articles & Devotionals

Articles & Devotionals

Work Harder, Not Smarter


Work Harder, Not Smarter


Being an “IT guy”, there are a lot of tasks that I do that need to be done quickly and efficiently. It seems like we are always asked to do more with less. Finding efficiencies and automation are always on the To-Do List. Can you do it faster with less effort? Can you write a script so it will happen “auto-magically”? Everyday: work smarter, not harder.

For me, this goal fits well. I like to work efficiently. I love keyboard shortcuts, scripts, and copy/paste. However, this doesn’t always fit into “real life”. I learned this lesson with exceptional clarity when our family lived in Cusco, Peru in 2014. Not everyone or every process has the goal of working in the most efficient way. Even more so when you mix in international travel and language barriers. Sometimes things just seem difficult for no reason. This situation is so prominent that it is highlighted each year for the medical campaign team: Be prepared to work harder, not smarter!

The last few months have probably felt like that for many. We are accustomed to a life full of comforts and convenience. We expect things to be seamless and instant. We want our food ready now. We want HD video streamed without interruption. We want clothes and dishes to be washed quickly and effortlessly. I get very accustomed to these expectations getting met. When they’re interrupted (see Quarantine), my frustration builds. It’s easy to say, “This would be so much easier if _______.”

I rehearse the same thoughts in the context of my faith and need to be brought back to two realities: 1) We were never promised easy (actually the opposite), and 2) The easy things aren’t the most fulfilling things. Some examples to remind myself:

Following Christ. Not easy, but worth it.

Luke 9:23 - And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Revelation 2:10b - Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Making Disciples. Relationships can be very messy.

Matthew 28:19 - Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

James 5:20 - let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Parenting. Finding the balance (especially when together more than usual).

Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Psalm 127:4-5 - Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

These are just a couple of many examples. Sometimes it’s not about finding the easy way, but working harder, because the effort is worth the reward. Be ok with working harder, not smarter.