Hebrews 6:1-12: For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
I wear a fitness tracker which, each day, counts my steps towards a goal which I set for myself. Some nights, I feel guilty because I haven’t reached my goal, even though no one else sees the numbers. I'm trying to learn to do all I can reasonably do, then let go of arbitrary counting.
I also seek a balance in my efforts to appreciate the grace of God without letting knowledge of that grace make me complacent. Cultivating spiritual depth and authenticity requires an understanding of the grace of God, but also diligence in doing all we can do to be compassionate, generous persons. God forgives me when I fail, but God also invites me to become part of the work of creation by being a healing presence.
Hebrews urges the followers of Jesus to “show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end.” That persistence in choosing a righteous course pushes back against our human instinct to “become sluggish” in our pursuit of God’s will.
We have to learn to do all that we can do, and then resist the compulsion to keep counting.
Psalm 38; Genesis 9:18-29; John 3:22-36
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