Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. - 1 Chronicles 28:20
So you are also complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every rule and authority. - Colossians 2:10
It's no mistake that these two verses appeared one after another in my Bible study this week. The first verse spoke to me about "doing the work" - something I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never noticed in this verse I've heard so many times. It's important to be strong and have courage, but this morning I was pointed to doing the work that has been laid before me. Sometimes those things require courage like putting our house on the market, but other times it's putting down what I'm doing when Tink asks me to read with her, keeping my house in order, or (a big one for me) holding my tongue when something comes to mind that I know isn't encouraging. I know that God lays before me big tasks, but they sometimes seem unimportant according to the world's standards. I loved this reminder about doing the work, because sometimes, it's about doing the things I know I'm supposed do.
Appropriately, the second verse was a reminder that I can never be "complete" on my own. I often have unrealistic expectations of myself, and am easily discouraged when things don't go as planned and the laundry piles up, the house is a wreck, or my kids are "angels" in the grocery store. I was encouraged by the instruction to "do the work", but needed to be reined in a little bit with the reminder that I'm not on my own here. Only through Christ can I be complete - lacking in nothing. God's view of perfection isn't the same as mine (thank goodness!) This explains it better than I ever could:
"Our efforts to model the Proverbs 31 woman should be focused on the love that was behind her actions, not the actions themselves. This woman is simply one whose outward actions were a result of a heart being transformed into Christ-likeness. She was exemplary because God's intervention had influenced her life, not because her human efforts were perfect." (Tracie Miles)
Praying that my actions are a reflection of the work that Christ is doing in my heart . . .