Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems Chapter 22 – On Doing Our Best

Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems

Chapter 22 – On Doing Our Best

“Your best is all you are ever required to do; indeed, no one can do more. It is not some other one’s best which is expected of you, either — but your own. Sometimes people forget this, and worry because they cannot do as well as some other person does. Our gifts differ — no two people are just alike in their capacity.”

In this chapter, J.R. Miller takes us once again to the very practical side of things: “It is a shame for anyone ever to do less than his best. It may be only the writing of a postal-card — but it should be done as carefully and neatly as you can possibly do it.” Likewise, “the same motto, ‘always do your best’ should be applied to everything we do. A man who had risen from a very humble beginning, to a place of distinction, even to great eminence, when asked the secret of his successful life, said he had always sought to do his best in whatever he undertook, summoning the best thought, the finest skill, the greatest energy, of which he was capable — to every piece of work he was doing. He demanded of himself, too, that today’s best should always be better than yesterday’s.”

Miller describes how there are two sides to all we do, what man sees and that which only God sees. Do not miss this point as you read the full text. He continues, “not only are we working for God’s eye — but it is God’s own work that we are doing. Whether a man is a carpenter, a painter, a stone-cutter, a farmer, a teacher, or a minister — it is God’s work he has in hand; and he must do his best. Old Stradivarius, the violin-maker, was right when he said that if his hand slacked, he would rob God. We rob God whenever we do anything carelessly, or do less than our best! A writer says, ‘The universe is not quite complete, without my work well done.’ We misrepresent God and disappoint him — when we do in a slovenly way anything, however small, that he gives us to do.”

“The lesson is for the housekeeper, for the student, for the teacher, for the preacher, for the boy at play, for the singer — less than the best we can do, dishonors God.” This is true in the little things, but we should also carry the lesson into the highest things. We should live our best every day. We should always ‘approve the things that are excellent.’ We should be just as careful when no human eye is upon us — as when we are working under the gaze of thousands! God is not a hard master — he is not unreasonable in his demands upon us. He does not expect great skill in a beginner…But he expects us to do always what we can — our best.”

I’m reminded of the adage, “We are who we are when no one is watching.”

Pastor Miller closes his thoughts with this: “We should make the most we can of our life, and rise to better attainments every day. The way to do this is in every smallest task and duty, in every thought, word, and act, to do our very best.” 

Find the full text on Grace Gems at:

Chapter 23 – About Your Shadow

(to be continued)