In high school, I competed with a neighbor boy my age, both physically and academically. We tied a handlebar rope swing high in the pecan tree in his front yard. Taking turns grabbing the bar, we swung out from the porch and leaped as far across the lawn as we could. Who could go the farthest? Week after week, we moved a wooden stake out an inch or two to mark our best-ever record.
One day, I felt like Superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I must have done everything just right, because I flew almost two feet beyond our record.
We never used that rope swing again. Why? I believe we thought the stake marked a distance we would never reach again, no matter how many times we tried. In that case, we would be wasting our effort, so we quit.
David wrote songs that repeated an important message to his brain: “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” He was working his mind to believe in the value of glorifying God and doing his will.
In writing, speaking, or biblical studies—and everything else, for that matter—I must challenge my mind in the right direction, telling myself that the effort is worth the pain. It’s a game I must win, because if I don’t believe in a reward for the effort, I’ll quit.
Unless we believe in God and the rewards that follow, we’ll neither approach him nor seek to please him. — Hebrews 11:6 paraphrase

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