Why Don't We Do What We Know Works?

Mar 7, 2012, Written by Sue Miley

Not Glorifying God in our Work - like a rebellious child

“I know I should do everything like I am doing it unto the Lord,” I tell myself daily.  But, in actuality, that would probably be a hell-inspired lie if I tried to claim it on more than a semi-annual basis.

Like the Apostle Paul, I claim weekly, if not daily, the famous words from Romans 7:15:

 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

“Why do I do what I don’t want to do”!  Or in half of the cases, “Why don’t I do what I know I should do!”

Seriously, I can claim these words and actions/inactions, in about every facet of life, but let’s look at how this can manifest itself in work.

I Want To Glorify God Through My Work

It’s not like I don’t want to do everything to glorify God.  I truly do.  It is one of my core values.  It’s just that if you really think about it, our ability to glorify God in what we do, is just not in our human capacity.

Only He can do that, and then, well, you get caught up in the circular.

Should I try?

or Is that works?

Should I just pray?

Don’t we need to do our part though?

If I try, but then try to look like I am not trying but letting God work through me, does that count?

I don’t think so.

The Circular: Do I Try or Not?

Which immediately leads to my doing, or not doing, something that I wish I did or wish I could stop doing, all because I want to glorify God.  In reality, if I try, it may mess it all up because I am not really capable anyway.

If this circular thought process exhausts you, join the club.

It exhausts me to, and then, you guessed it…..I end up not doing the work that I believe is to God’s glory.

Let’s get off the circular for a minute and get to a more tangible concept of our daily work.

Why Don’t We Do What We Know Works?

I love my work.  I really feel like I am where God has called me.

So I don’t have the typical excuse of being distracted, apathetic, or actually lazy.  I don’t think people would characterize me as lazy.

I study too.

I know my business and I know there is more than one path to creating a business and work that would honor God, if not glorify Him.

Yet do I take this knowledge, focus my plans, and implement the stuff I believe will work?

Well, actually I do.

But, not always.

Which is the point of this post.

I talk to people all day long.  It is what I do for work.  In these discussions, at least daily, we talk about what would work in their, or my, business and what needs to be done, now and later.  Then the next week, many, many times, we talk about it again.

The same thing.

It isn’t just clients.  I do it too.  I have every intention, in my own business, of following up with clients to remind them of action items or to check on them with something big going on in their world.

Do We Have to Be Consistent?

Then I forget sometimes.  Not all of the time.  But enough that I am certainly not glorifying God.

But the point is that I really want to follow up, consistently write a blog post every other day, or make time to do my billing on schedule.  It is a sincere desire and I know that it works.

Yet, I am not consistent.  Well, I am not consistently consistent!

Full Circle Back to Faith

Which comes full circle back to faith.  We know pretty much that our relationship with Jesus is the most important part of our faith walk.  I personally know that when I seek and stay connected to Him, all of my world is better.

Not just a little better.  Way better!

Then I get pulled into the world and focus intensely on the issue of the day, and don’t go to Jesus with it first.

Why?  I know everything is better when I do.  Way better!

Everything Is Better Which Jesus In It!

I know in my work I have a tendency to let it consume me.  (Jesus helped me conquer workaholism once in my life, but like any addiction, it waits for a weak moment.)  I am not trying to keep my faith out of my work.  I know God wants to be part of all of my life.

So why do I start worrying?  He tells me not to.

So why do I try to take control?  He is the only One truly in control.

So why do I become a full-fledged member of this world?  We are only visitors!

It makes absolutely no sense for me to ever slip back into worrying, controlling, worldly habits, yet I do!

And I want to fix it.  I want to take control and re-focus on all of the things God wants me to do….which again misses the point entirely.

So I am back to the wonderfully, life-saving, grace of Jesus.  I do what I always do when I don’t know what to do…….I just seek Him.

 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

(Php 3:12–14)

Reader Interactions


  1. Benecia Ponder says

    Wow! I am sitting here in awe because it’s as if you’ve spoken from my heart. Just this morning I asked God to help me be more consistent in my actions. It feels good to know that I am not alone. BTW, I absolutely love your writing style!

  2. David Rupert says

    The question that Paul asked — and you reiterated – is a difficult one.
    There is a constant disconnect between what I’m supposed to do and what I am doing.
    Some call it hypocrisy.
    Some call it sin.
    I try to call it as ‘weakness.’

    So I spend my Christian life closing the gap between the two. Thankfully, I don’t have to do it on my own.

  3. Paula Mary Millar says

    Just a bit of my own personal process. I had an eating disorder that most women die of by age 25, belligerant bulimia. The whole body hardens it self. I was productive in my life and I looked …normal. I was a secular coach and had this whole life coaching people, including corporate people. I was completely driven and running away from myself. Then I found God and it’s been quite a journey from the point of view of not being controling and driven. I just couldn’t or can’t be any more. He had put my body into such a state of healing that there is no way that I can be that person any more. I couldn’t clean my house and hired some one to help and then I couldn’t afford them. I have to competely struggled to get my house clean, cook and so forth., I couldn’t walk but a few feet any more. I have adjusted and am still productive but I make sure I break up my day in the midst of work to do something God like. Call a spiritual friend or listen to a sermon and feed myself spiritually.

    What Paul is taking about isn’t meant to be a circle. He is describing a continual breaking process that Christ walks us in. We want out of the struggle and we don’t want to struggle with our character and so Christ brings you test to break you and let you see that..hey, I don’t have this one down as well as I thought.

    I am now a Christian coach also. I learned in the Vision course that trained me to be an coach that if you are not aligned with his true intent for you, or you are doing something that is comfortabel for you you are not in his will. I lived this way for the last 3 years, and I was still very ill and recovering. I thought there was no way God was going to really challenge me yet. If you are doing something that is a snap for you, your not really there yet. For example a women who did my course God let me know that she is not really working in his will yet. See took a few class in a new area and switched carreers. It was kind of scary for her but If you are doing something that only takes a few classes to get there and you can do it with out God’s help, you don’t have your Vision yet. I could see this truth in myself in this. I coach and I love it but God finally confronted me about this. I thought surely since I can hardlywalk in my life that he would just let me sit here and figure better ways to be a coach. I had coached some poor mexican women in our area a few mouths back. I called one of them who was having a problem with her daughter. She is 16 and preganant for the 2nd time.
    The girl was thinking about taking the abortion pill, the baby was about 6 weeks along. I waited. I knew this family. I knew it was fraut with drama like you can’t beleive. I knew that the exhusband and gone off and gotten involved wiht a women who is a witch and there is so much more. I new the demonic was involved. I am familiar with this because I lived through two demonic attack. In my heart I wanted nothing more do to with the demonic. I waited. When I finally did show up this girl had already taken the abortion pill. I was elegant and persuasive and she repented. We prayed over her tummy to stop the effects of the pill. When we were done this with this she said, Paula, where were you yesterday? You should of been here yesterday before I took it? Out of the mouths of babes. She was absolutely right. I think God could of done this miracle but he knew that this girl in her heart is not really to change her ways really and there is nothing can God can do until we make realy decide to change.. Anyway she did start to bleed the next day and needed to have the situation taken care of because now her health was at risk.. I drove her to the hospital with her mother. I prayed on the way home and said, God you can still do a miracle here . Please let them do a d/c and not the vacuum method which is so much worse for a women’s body. I sobbed and repented. I was late I didn’t respond to this call immediately but God provided a mircle in the midst of my failings. He actually took that baby out of her womb. There was no way the baby just came out in the toilet unnoticed because the girl and her mother had been diligently watching for this. The mother who is a Christian wanted to give it a burial but it had never shown up. So the doctor did did a ultra sound firstto see what was going on. . There was no baby. God had taken that baby out of her womb. Praise God.

    A Vision has to be so large you can’t be fulfilling it all by yourself. If you are you are not in a Vision. If you are not doing work out side of coaching and doing some kind of work that is charity based you are not in his will. The coach who taught me said that this is your real calling and you have to feed this first or God isn’t really going to promote you. I have know since that time that my real calling is to work withe women who have eating disorders. I have done nothing. I’m almost well. I don’t want to go back there. I have heard so much from several coaching source about even controling the kind of clients and just deal with the ones that you want…What if Christ has been this way? Christ just dealt with who ever was put in front of Him. We have clostered ourselves in what is comfortable, convenient and we call it our calling..No way. Its a lack of faith to step out andto be really broken by him. What I was accusing other coaches of I failed with myself. I didn’t want the drama. I wanted it all neat and clean and simple. It’s just not. Being broken involves that you are dealing with problems that require us to be on our needs and crying out for his help and seeing how you fail and you are just so human andyou have to deal with that our control is just not going get it done.

    Blessing and Love
    Paula Mary

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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