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Level of Effort

In project management, there is a scale that is used by managers called the “level of effort” scale. It does not necessarily scale how much work is done, but it can gauge the work performance and quality of the work conducted. 

It would appear that the Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath would approve of this scale as he once begged the question, “If you’re not gonna go all the way, why go at all?”

There are many versions of the level of effort scale, often with the lowest portion showcasing little effort with the top of the scale presenting the maximum. 

Effort and Performance

This is worth noting as the Bible has much to say about effort and performance. The number one thing to understand about performance is that:

  1. Our salvation is not based on works (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

Salvation comes by Christ’s finished Gospel and nothing else. We could never work to earn favor in God’s eyes. His Son did the work for us and now we are to simply believe!

With our salvation secure, we can rest easy as we explore other Biblical aspects of effort and performance! Moving on, we see that:

  1. Work is good in the sight of God (Genesis 2:15; Proverbs 16:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:10).

It is good in the sight of God, despite the common misconception that humanity is entitled to life free of it. 

Even from the world’s earliest days, humanity tended to God’s Earthly creation (Genesis 2:15). Even when work was included in the punishment of Adam and Eve, work was not cursed but rather the ground. Following this, humanity’s attitude towards the now difficult action was tainted (Genesis 3:17-19). 

Because of Adam’s sin, humanity inherited a tainted nature and disposition and men and women stood separated from God. With this state, we can see that:

  1. There can be ungodly work done (Psalm 6:8; Matthew 7:21-23).

Apart from God, we are “workers of iniquity” who serve the wrong side.

But referring back to point one, there is something more for those who are in Christ. Our salvation is paid for by Christ’s finished work and He enables our service to be acceptable unto God. 

In the Body of Christ, we know that:

  1. We can be workers who are unashamed by rightly dividing His truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

There is a standard for Godly work. As we pursue Godly work, it must be conducted in the very nature of Christ- In grace and truth (John 1:17). The two exist only together and need to remain tethered.

In a work by doctors, Richard Fowler and Natalie Ford, titled Grace Based Counseling, it is stated, 

“Grace ceases to be grace apart from truth. Jesus was full of both grace and truth (John 1:14). Grace and truth are not opposing principles in need of balance; instead, they are united as one. Both are equally necessary for abundant living” (19).

Now living in His grace and truth, it is good to know that:

  1. Unashamed, we are called to work heartily (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:23-24).

In grace and truth, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are not only called to work heartily- We are able to work heartily! Spiritually, working heartily means we work “as to the Lord” knowing that we have a hope when it all ends (Philippians 3:14; Colossians 3:23-24).

Live Heartily

Working heartily should not have an “off-switch.” It is to be done in the most basic moments of our life and the largest, most extravagant moments too (1 Corinthians 10:31). When we work heartily for the Lord, we are living earnestly to say, “Christ be glorified.”

So, as you go throughout your days, live as to the Lord as if someone were to hold up a “level of effort” chart in front of you. You could point to the very top and say,

“There I am. I am living maximally to reflect the glory of God who considers me worthy by His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Let this be your prayer today. 

God bless!

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