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Faithfulness


It is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2

God does not require us to do superhuman feats. All he requires is that we be faithful. Not faithful to a program or to a system, but faithful to God, to love, to truth. Such faithfulness may cause us to drop other loyalties at times, and it may lead to dramatic changes in our lifestyle... changes which may even lead others to think we are unstable in the things that matter to the system.

But faithfulness to God will also be tested through boring, routine, or humbling tasks. If we are not prepared to become nobodies, to be lost in the shadows for God's glory, then our true motives in all other exploits could be open to question.

Challenging the system in protests and demonstrations, breaking new ground with radical welfare programs, and travelling the world to distribute provocative literature can all provide an adrenaline rush and attract media interest. But if the over-riding goal of all this is to bring people into a personal relationship with Christ, then we may also need to spend more time providing practical, loving care for those who respond to our message.

Babies (both literally and spiritually) need mothering, food, and a healthy environment. Washing nappies and sweeping floors do not capture the imagination of the media, but they are the kind of humble acts that turn theory into reality. Laying down your life for God may mean sacrificing the limelight for a ministry in the nursery.

My wife has spent a lifetime ministering to the physical needs of (first) our natural children, and then our extended family. The media hardly even knows she exists. The credit is always heaped on me, with little regard for her contribution.

But remember that Jesus says only those acts of charity which go unnoticed by others will be rewarded in heaven. (Matthew 6:4) Are you working for God's glory or for your own? For God's pleasure or your own? If you only want to bring pleasure and glory to God, then you will see the importance of housekeeping, child-rearing, and other such humble tasks in building his kingdom.

Many have left our fellowship when the glamour wore off what we were doing. Their motivation was not one of complete obedience to Jesus. They did not have the spirit of a servant, and so, when the excitement died down, they were not found faithful.

Are you a faithful servant or a phoney one?

(See also Those Other Apostles.)

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