Many years ago Mr. Merrit Newby of Alabama sent me this little admonition. I don’t know where it originated, I don’t even know why it impressed me so much, but I have never forgotten it. It has hung on my wall since then, and become a touchstone to cure distractions and worries.
The Lord has given to every man his work. It is his business to do it and the devil’s business to hinder him if he can. So sure as God has given you a work to do, Satan will try to hinder you. He may present other things more promising. He may allure you by worldly prospects; he may assault you with slander, torment you with false accusations, set you to work defending your character, employ pious persons to lie about you, editors to assail you, and excellent men to slander you. You may have Pilate and Herod, Ananias and Caiaphas all combine against you, and Judas standing by ready to sell you for thirty pieces of silver; and you may wonder why all these things come upon you. Can you not see that the whole thing is brought about through the craft of the devil—to draw you off from your work and hinder your obedience to God?
Keep about your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars. Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs. Do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits.
Do your work. Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let editors publish, let the devil do his worst! But see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work that God has given you. He has not sent you to make money. He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you to defend your character, nor has he bidden you to contradict falsehoods about yourself which Satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do these things, you will do nothing else! You will be at work for yourself, and not for the Lord.
Keep about your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. Let the world brawl and bubble. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded, and rejected. You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, despised and rejected of men—but see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and the object of your being, until at last you can say:
"I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do."