BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Dear Colleagues,

IF YOU HAVE ANTS IN YOUR PANTS, READ THIS :

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I have had ants in my pants since I was prenatal. In fact, I invented ADHD and modeled it with zest before I could soil a diaper. The T. V. clicker was invented for me: If it isn’t hot, CLICK IT. I am out of here! No wonder my new bride had 3 nervous breakdowns the first week of our marriage.

We live in a restless, narcissistic, and indulgent world that is forever seeking the next kick, buzz, or jolt. Thus the advent of extreme sports, throwaway/interchangeable marriages, continuously evolving and shifting job conditions.

Restlessness is about running away when things get tough, rather than sticking it out . It’s about being unquiet; thinking or feeling that there is something better somewhere else.

Often contributing to our restlessness is the gnawing sense that our work is unimportant; that the real work of God is done by missionaries who go to Timbuktu and sleep on boards in 140 degree heat, and eat ants for breakfast. According to Martin Luther, “…The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks… We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God.”

According to one study, about 80% of the working force does not like their work. Rather, they grind their way through it. That’s tragic, as God intends for us to find fulfillment in our work. A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God” (Ecc. 2:24). (See Ecc. 3:13, 22; 5:18). Certainly Jesus found satisfaction in his God-appointed work: My…nourishment is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish and completely finish His work” (Jn. 4:34 – Amp. – Selected).

Patience and endurance are about hanging in there when things get tough , and asking God to use your circumstances to mold your character to conform to his. We could learn a thing or two in this regard from:

Jesus who “endured the cross, scorning its shame…” (Heb. 12:2).

Paul who wrote Timothy, “You…know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance…” To the Philippians he wrote “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…In any and every situation…I can do everything through him who gives me strength…(2 Tim. 3:10; I Tim 6:6; Phil. 4:11 – 13 – Selected). (See 1Tim. 6:6)

The Thessalonians , to whom Paul wrote, We boast about your perseverance and faith in all the…trials you are enduring” (2 Thess. 1:4).

CHALLENGE: If you want to get rid of the ants in your pants and mature from restlessness to patient endurance,

  • Celebrate the fruit that comes out of suffering : “…We…rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3,4 – Selected).
  • Imitate godly heroes “…who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Heb. 6:12 ).
  • Cultivate the practice of stillness before God : “Do not fret…Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land…Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” (Ps. 37:1,3,4,7 – Selected)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

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