Grit To Great

Grit To Great

July 26, 2016 in Pastor's Perspective

GritToGreat_smlGrit to Great highlights the fact that talent is not the key ingredient in success. There is something much more important—grit. Grit refers to things like determination, perseverance, passion, and plain old hard work. In short, it’s about character, not talent.

I found this both challenging and encouraging—encouraging in that it opens the door to success to anyone who is willing to pay the price. And it’s consistent with the general biblical emphasis on character over gifting. It’s not hard to find gifted people; finding people of character is much tougher.

I found it challenging because this concept also takes away our excuses. Anyone can exercise grit! It’s something you choose; it’s something you can learn, so anyone can use it.

As I think about developing people in my church, especially leaders, this highlights the importance of character. I want people with grit in the trenches with me! Many times over the years I’ve seen the damage that can be caused when talented people who lack character acquire too much influence. It almost always ends badly.

I’ve also seen the power of working with people who won’t give up, who know how to work hard, and who can take responsibility for making something happen. It’s magical. And it’s fun. Pursuing a goal with people who know how to work hard is incredibly satisfying. And the results are usually impressive.

As I’ve thought about this topic I’ve come to believe that grit is a theme that I need to emphasize in my teaching and overall ministry. We live in a time when everyone is told to “follow your dream” or “find your passion” and pursue it as if success and happiness will automatically follow. The part that is left out is how important hard work is after you decide to follow your dream or passion. Identifying the dream is the easy part; persevering in the pursuit of it, sometimes for years, is the tough part.

I think we do people no favors if we leave out the importance of hard work. Instead, we foster an unrealistic view of life. And when people are disappointed that things didn’t work out the way they expected, in my experience they often blame God! Rather than face the truth that they didn’t work hard enough or persevere, they say God didn’t do his part. I’ve seen that multiple times, and it’s sad. It’s also difficult to address as many of us don’t want to take responsibility for what happens in our lives.

So I’m going to start emphasizing grit. What about you? What aspects of grit do you need to grow in or teach others about?

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