Do God’s Will, Not His Work

Bethany Jenkins | July 21, 2016

In my role at The King’s College, I measure my success largely in numbers—student internships, small group coaching sessions, marketplace visits, and job placements. As an editor with The Gospel Coalition, I check views, likes, and shares.

My friends measure their success in numbers, too. Rob, a pastor, says he feels pressure to look to conversions, tithes, budget increases, program participation rates, and attendance. Jeff, a Wall Street trader, weighs his profits against his losses. Stephanie, a stay-at-home mom, counts how many shirts she washes, bills she pays, and hours she spends playing with her kids. Bill, a golfer, looks at his scores, stats, and wins.

Goodness of Metrics

Measuring our work and setting goals is helpful. Metrics can tell us what we’re doing and if our efforts are working. Goals can keep us disciplined, focused, and motivated (Prov. 6:6–11; 21:5).


Jesus, for example, tells a parable about an investor who gives three managers different amounts of money. While he’s away, two of them invest their portions and get double returns. The third, however, is afraid and hoards his.

When the investor returns, he praises the two risk-taking managers but chastises the fearful one: “You ought to have invested my money with the…

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