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We don't - God does

Well-spoken words bring satisfaction; well-done work has its own reward. (Proverbs 12:14)

Words and work - both can be done well, or both can be done without thinking. Think your words before you speak them and you are likely to reap a harvest closer to what you desired, not a reactionary and hostile response in return. Think through your work, planning carefully each step you must take, and you will likely end up with the results you desire. Be lazy with either your words or your work and the outcome will be less than desirable.

John F. Kennedy reminded us that gratitude is good, but "we must never forget the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." We are to live by our words - so we must be very, very careful what words we utter! John C. Maxwell tells us that people "hear our words but feel our attitude". What are your words revealing about your inner attitude right now? Remember, you can attempt to conceal with 'just the right words', but the heart will betray the attitude at some point.

"All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today." (Pope Paul VI) Work isn't for the weak, nor is it for the wishy-washy. It involves this 'striving' that Pope Paul referred to - the exertion of vigorous effort and thought. We might attempt to gain wealth other ways, but the most rewarding is when we have given ourselves to the process and given the best we could give. 

Thomas Fuller reminds us, "All things are difficult before they are easy." We don't have a change of attitude just because we want one - we have to work for it. We don't change a negative habit just out of the blue - we have to adjust our lifestyle to no longer pursue that habit. We don't learn to think before we speak on a whim - we must practice listening, processing, and then use the wisdom God gives in the process. We don't - God does. This is the point here - good people aren't good inherently - they are good because God is in them, working to change their words and work so both match up and bring him honor. Just sayin!


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