Fresh Hope – 1st May 2018

It’s been said many times that this generation differs to generations that have gone before us. Where our grandparents, stretched two pennies across a week, we want the dream car and home today. Where our parents took time to make a phone call, and have meaningful conversation, we shoot a text. Where we once had to organize a coffee date to really see how someone is going, we can feel like we are in touch with people by quickly scrolling through social media. Where generations before us had to have face-to-face conversations with people at the shops, we order what we need at the click of a button. Where things like community, and family were once esteemed as the highest priority in life, self-protection and self-promotion have taken its place. Where our grandparents kept appliances for decades, we are persuaded to purchase the newest and the latest every few months. Where children were once taught to listen, parents are now pressured to constantly entertain and stimulate their kids, ensuring life is never dull and they never miss out. But we are missing out. Because life can actually be dull sometimes.

It isn’t always new, sparkly, instant, easy, entertaining and grand… and this is not only ok, but also good for us! Life can in fact be hard work! We are constantly getting primed to believe that dull isn’t normal. Whilst we have progressed in the most wonderful of ways in some areas compared to generations before us – we must admit that new technologies, celebrity culture, and a busy life isn’t always doing us a favour!

We have inherited a divine nature, but we aren’t born with character – you develop it! Dull moments make character! Diligence makes character! Hard work makes character! 2 Peter 1:5-7 says, ‘MAKE EVERY EFFORT to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love’. Character requires effort, and some less than easy, and instant things like self-control and knowledge!

In the words of Oswald Chambers, ‘we are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Drudgery (dull, hard work) is the touchstone of character’.

Don’t simply seek the glamorous things in life, and become dissatisfied when your life isn’t looking magnificent. Remember that Jesus himself took and towel, got down and washed the disciplesfeet (John 13:1-7). There are times when life is routine. It is common jobs and no thrill. Don’t expect constant stimulation and worry that there is something wrong with you if something awesome isn’t happening. Learn to live with the mundane moments by the power of God! Do not simply give up on something if it requires extra effort and attention. There is great power and blessing in doing the “boring” things with excellence, allowing your character to be sharpened in the process. Obedience, consistency, and faithfulness to the very normal things of life, is powerful.

Philippians 4:12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.