“You learn to endure by having your faith tested” (James 1:3).
My wife, Linda, answered the phone last night. A sweet, quiet voice on the other end said, “It’s Girl Scout cookie time!” The voice belonged to our granddaughter, Rhyan. She and her sister, Megan, are in the Girl Scouts. Of course, they wanted Mimi and Paw Paw to buy some cookies.
When it comes to selling Girl Scout cookies, Markita Andrews, age 13, from New York City, is the champ. For the past several years, Markita has sold near 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies each year. For her success last year, Markita was awarded an expenses-paid trip for 2 around the world. Her secret? Ask. That is, simply ask people to invest in the Girl Scouts by buying some cookies. I would say that Markita understands perseverance.
I know that’s a big word. It just means steady persistence in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. You persist. You don’t give up.
We live in a society that desires comfort. We wear “comfortable” clothing. We cook “comfort” food. We want “comfortable” sermons at church. We want to ride in a “comfortable” car. But, perseverance, endurance, you see, runs against comfort.
Yet, perseverance might be the greatest character quality you can develop. Do you have perseverance? Your answers to the following questions might reveal the degree of perseverance in your life.
. . . When things get difficult do you tend to give up, quit, or bail out?
. . . Do you easily talk yourself out of difficult tasks?
. . . When difficult situations come your way, do you look for the easy way?
So why do you need more perseverance?
Perseverance Helps You Become a More Positive Person
When you don’t run from your problems, you eliminate negative thoughts like, I’ll never be able to do this. The result? Your perseverance builds optimism. Learned optimism equips us to drive toward success.
Perseverance Makes You Refuse to Give Up
Quitting allows difficulties and hard situations to define you. But perseverance builds stick ability in the face of obstacles.
Perseverance Helps You Embrace Failure
Thomas Edison performed hundreds of failed attempts before he invented the light bulb. But those failures were actually his motivation. Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Perseverance Builds Character
It really does! When you persist, you master your difficulties instead of your difficulties mastering you. The result? You develop strength of character. Nothing can stop you.
Perseverance Will Keep You Focused
Whether it be the goal of being a great spouse, becoming a better parent, learning a new computer program, tackling a foreign language, or attempting to change the oil in your own car, you won’t accomplish those goals without persistance. Perseverance helps you stay goal-focused, rather than problem-focused.
Perseverance Builds Hope
Here are 3 terrific Bible verses, Romans 5:3-5: “But that’s not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us.”
Do you see the progression? Troubles and difficulties come. But we endure, we exercise perseverance. And that endurance builds character, stick ability. And best, of all, the result is great hope.