Growing through challenges

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:17, 23 ESV)

Personal growth and skills development are things we like to measure because our motivations are pinned to incentives where excellence is rewarded. When we are successful, we can enjoy the moment and make note of what went well. This way we record our best practices and repeat them. But when we fail, we need to pause and identify our opportunities for improvement by asking:

• What happened?

• Could I have done anything differently to produce a better outcome?

I recall the times when I just wanted to drop out of college. One of my professors returned my paper and told me to rewrite it. I was frustrated because it felt like the work piled up with impossible deadlines. Additionally, I wanted to resign from my job because I had a difficult time managing the stress.

I kept praying about the issues, and finally one day God popped a question into my head: “Would you still worship Me if it all doesn’t work out?” I responded with a convicted “yes” and the Lord pushed me to keep on trying. The worst that could happen is that I would fail and start over again. Tough assignments make stronger individuals in both character and resolve; there is no growth in the absence of challenge.

Wherever we are in our journey, we can always thank and praise God for giving us these challenges and showing us how to manage them. May he always be glorified in our efforts and service to him.

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