(Will Smith brick-laying story)
“. . .the secret to my success is as boring as it is unsurprising. You show up and you lay another brick. Pissed off? Lay another brick. Bad opening weekend? Lay another brick. Album sales dropping? Get up and lay another brick. Marriage failing? Lay another brick. . . .No matter what you’re going through, there is always another brick sitting right there in front of you, waiting to be laid. The only question is, are you going to lay it?” – Will Smith, Will, p. ix
Stand For the Reading of God’s Word
James 1:1-8 NLT
Lesson # 1
Lay the brick right in front of you
James 1:2-3 ESV
- Endure = to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
- In practice, endure means this: to to do the things you’ve been doing.
Lesson # 2
Use pressure as a strength and endurance partner
James 1:4 ESV
- Something transformational is taking place as you lay bricks.
- Perfect = (not human perfection)
- Complete = equipped with everything you need from
- Growth can’t be experienced without .
- Growth requires that demands be made on your .
- Maturity is tested and developed under —but only if you push back.
- Endurance is the against pressure.
Lesson # 3
Pursue God as a strength and endurance coach
James 1:5 ESV
- Asking is an action.
- Keep asking. Don’t stop asking under pressure.
- Matthew 7:7-8 AMP
- Whenever you ask God for help and you get silence, keep laying bricks.
- Practice the Scripture.
- Practice the last thing the Holy Spirit told you to do.
Lesson # 4
Eliminate Poor Technique
James 1:6 ESV
- Follow through. Don’t start and stop.
- Faith is more a matter of than capacity.
- Luke 17:3–6 ESV
- When Jesus is speaking about the quality of our faith, the emphasis is less on size and more on .
- Proverbs 24:10 ESV
- Faith is not about feelings. Faith is about .
Lesson # 5
Leverage Your Natural Feedback Loop
James 1:7-8 ESV
- How we deal with God is how we deal with everything else.
- How we are anywhere is how we are .
- Results are part of a natural feedback loop.
- Most people see results through the lens of what happened to them and not through the lens of what they make happen.
- There is a very easy way to test whether something was inevitable or not. Ask this question: What would someone else do with your hand?
- God is faithful. Unfaithfulness can only happen on our end.
- Haggai 1:5–6 ESV
- How do you consider your ways?
- Look at the results.
- Work backwards to look at the pathway that led there through the lens of your choices.
- Look at the patterns (What do you tend to do in moments of crisis?)
- Distinguish between the things you can change and the things you can’t.
- Act on the things you can change.
- Release to God the things you can’t change.
- Rinse and repeat (Have feedback for breakfast, lunch and dinner).
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2022