One of my pet religious peeves is that ministers rarely talk about the virtue of work and of working for a living during their Sunday homilies. And when they do, it’s always about someone doing charity, providing for the poor, volunteering, etc. These activities are, of course, important and praiseworthy. But what about the guy or gal who goes to work every day to support himself/herself and their families? And what about the positive economic impact of workers, businessmen and entrepreneurs? The prosperity of every nation is limited by the collective contribution of its citizen.
Well, at last I’ve found a preacher who puts high priority on work and excellence. He’s Joel Osteen. In Chapter 5 of his new book, You Can, You Will he has a complete chapter entitled “Commitment To Excellence.” It’s great.
He expands on Matthew’s Gospel in which Jesus encourages his audience to go an extra mile. Osteen says: get to work early. Work a little later than others. Do your very best all day long. Dress appropriately at all times – whether you’re in a business suit, a pair of slacks, or shorts – and always look your very best.
Frankly, his strategy is a simple concept, but one that many people miss – and certainly many preachers miss.
Osteen – always the practical preacher – gives image and neatness high priority, and many pages of inspirational copy. He even describes how he applies this principle to himself. He follows every Sunday service by editing the video of his talk. He was a professional video editor of his now deceased father’s sermons, so he knows how to make appropriate editorial changes. He wants to make sure that every recording is as perfect and effective as it can be.
I’ve watched a number of his videos and have often wondered why/how they are so flawless. He doesn’t use a teleprompter. Now we know the answer. They’re edited by a professional who says that no matter how good they are they are still not good enough.
In God we must trust – but we must always do our part to project practical Christian values.