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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Perseverance Precedes Excellence

This picture is hanging close to where we eat our meals each day.  It has been thus for the past 20+ years.  It was a motivational poster that was hung in the break room where I worked part time during seminary.  I asked for the poster and my wife had it framed and we hung it where we ate as a family.  There it remains.

Romans 5:3 – 5 tells us that perseverance is a result of tribulation and produces proven character.  This is a consistent theme in the New Testament.  The word translated “perseverance” is hupomone which appears 33 times in the New Testament.  A couple of notable passages are James 1:2 – 4 and 2 Peter 1:3 – 10 (full list of occurrences of hupomone).

Not everything you do as you talk daily with your kids about the Word of God is going to seem effective.  Sometimes it will seem downright ineffective.  At the end of the Fathers to Sons Workshops, my sons are interviewed by the men in attendance.  Each time they have told them that there were things we did as a family in the Word that they considered sub-lame; stuff that they resisted and resented.  My wife and I changed tactics continually, we persisted.  That is our assignment as parents.  We are to persist.  It produces proven character, not only in our lives but in the lives of our kids.

One of my sons was in a college Bible study.  They were talking about struggling through tough times.  He told them that “Perseverance Precedes Excellence,” they thought that was profound.  He had seen that every meal for 20+ years.