As I pondered this quote by John Piper, I looked up the word "pragmatist" in the dictionary. It says "a person who is oriented toward the success or failure of a particular line of action, thought, etc.; a practical person".
In our society, people often look at the bottom line. What were the results of the action? Was it a success or a failure? And how quickly was it achieved?
We turn to self-help books so we can follow a set of rules. Isn't that what the people in the Old Testament tried to follow? And how well did that work for them?
Spiritual growth and lessons take time. And often the results aren't seen immediately.
Think about the missionary Jim Elliot who died at a young age attempting to share the love of Jesus with the Auca Indians. He and three others were killed by them. Their bodies were pierced with spears and hacked by machetes!
Was Jim Elliot a failure? If the world read about this killing in the newspaper today, many would think his attempts ...were a failure.
But as his wife continued on in this ministry, the Auca's came to know Jesus over time. Elizabeth Elliot and the other wives of the slain men didn't leave. Instead, the people who killed their husbands were curious and many came to know the Jesus that these missionaries knew.
I'd say that ...Jim Elliot's life was a success.
So, let's not use the world's success or failure standard. Whatever you do, work at it as to the Lord. We may not see the results of our work but we can trust that they will not be wasted. Some plant the seeds and others may water them.
Do your part and ...trust the Lord with the results.