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“Grace Over Grind”

CCC – Conscious Conversations of Consequence equips believers to integrate a Biblical worldview into everyday life through a case-study conversational approach. NBCCww

June 01, 2024

25-26  “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
27-29  “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33  “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met (Matthew 6:25-33, MSG).


This year is decreed to be the year of “Progress" so I thought it was
necessary that that we look at a case-study that deals with the subject of Progress: Grace or Grind. For our purposes, Grace is defined as God’s enablement and empowerment to get the job done. And grind is defined as working excessively and requiring strenuous exertion primarily in your own strength.

“Get your hustle on.” According to Shae Bynes, the hustle-and-grind mindset damages the way you view work, rest, time, and energy—while limiting the growth of your relationship with God. 
Grinding: This is a term that Paul had never really thought much about. Grinding? Never. Yet, this is exactly what he may be experiencing but in a unique way. This recognition came after he connected with his touch group to consider the application of Matthew 6:25-33. As he relates to his touch group member Janet, “Jesus’ words really made me think. His teaching in this passage focuses on believers both setting an example in how they orient their daily lives and staying true to their life in Christ. Ambition and progress are surely not the same as grinding for me, or is it?   

My “progress goals” that I have set for the year may be taking me away from what the Lord may truly wish for me. Paul has been a supervisor for the past ten years. He has committed what seems to be much of his adult waking hours on what he really loves - management. Contemplating new ideas and completing existing studies even when away from the company overshadows his personal life. Paul is the first to admit that ambition also drives him to pursue the goal of being a recognized supervisor in his field with all the acclaim that comes with that achievement. As he continues with Janet, “There is no question that ambition drives me. It has for as long as I can remember. However, I have now come to realize that it is one thing to be ambitious but another thing to be dominated by it.” Paul is new to studying the scriptures as a believing adult. While having been brought up in a Christian family, he had never really studied the Bible at home or in the church the family attended. The touch group that he goes to with Janet is his first exposure to finding God’s word though scripture study. He continues, “After all this time, I am finding it very difficult to consciously alter my professional life. What I really need is a lifestyle foundation to not necessarily replace ambition but provide more balance in my life. I really respect your insight in our touch group meetings. What biblical insight would you suggest to create the needed support for such a shift?” Janet replies, “I agree your mindset and
behavior need to be reexamined considering Matthew 6:25-33. But that leaves us with the problem of first defining your behavior in a scriptural setting. Given that understanding, our second objective must be to use scripture to redefine your lifestyle such that you are open to what the Lord wants for you.”

As Janet, what scriptures should she recommend for Paul to use in meeting this challenge? Based on those scriptures, what specifically would you suggest for her to remember as the foundation of the new lifestyle? What Life Work Principles could you offer to Paul to help him in this year of Progress?


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