I get a lot of spam email. Most of it can be divided into two categories– how to lose weight and how to get rich quick. The thing is, I know how to lose weight. Everyone does. Take in fewer calories than you burn. If you do that, you will lose weight, guaranteed. This plan is sometimes expanded to eat right and exercise, but it’s the same idea. Stay with the plan and in time, weight loss happens.
Oh wait – I left out the key spam word – easy. They promise an easy way to lose weight. Eat what you want. No exercise or effort required and the pounds drop off. Of course, there’s no such thing.
It’s the same way with getting rich. We all know how that happens. Spend less than you take in. Save, invest and wait. It’s not hard or complicated. But it’s not easy. It takes discipline and patience.
That’s the echo in Paul’s words to Timothy. “But you,” you be different. Don’t be like everyone else around you, ready to take the easy way and the quick fix. You be disciplined and patient. You stick to what you know.
The advice is relevant for us today. Don’t fall for slick marketing, systems, and strategies. God grows us, and grows His kingdom slowly, patiently, with discipline. Want more intimacy with God? It takes time to develop. Want a more vibrant prayer life? It takes discipline. Want to do a better job sharing your faith? It takes practice. No shortcuts.