Christian Devotionals

"Faithfully Giving Our Best"

My seventeen year old son recently started his first real job at a local restaurant. He started out as a busboy with aspirations of becoming a host and perhaps a waiter. Although my son is hard working and conscientious, he’s undergoing some major attitude adjustments and learning some key lessons the hard way. You see he had previously operated in his own little world. Sure he went to school, did homework and held a few babysitting jobs, but now it’s time for a taste of the real world. There are new and increased responsibilities along with the need to take orders from bosses. Welcome to the working world son! As he’s making these adjustments, we’ve butted heads a few times as I try to impress upon him the need to show up to work on time (five minutes early won’t kill you) and show up neatly dressed. One day, as he was cutting it so close to the point of needing to make every traffic light to be there on time, I cringed as he headed to the car in his uniform. His shirt and pants were wrinkled from his shoulders to his ankles. He looked like he ironed his uniform with a rock. I said, “Here’s a pointer, next time try plugging in the iron before using it.” His reply, “Oh, I didn’t iron it … I’m only a busboy tonight, it doesn’t matter.” Now granted, I’m ex-military and a stickler for details like pressed clothes, shined shoes and a straight gig-line, but his attire was unacceptable even by civilian standards. Unfortunately, he was running so late that we didn’t have time to hit his uniform with an iron.

The next day I saw him ironing his work shirt. Wow, am I finally getting through to him? Hardly, it turns out that his boss yelled at him for showing up to work looking like a 5’ 9’’raisin. We then got into a long and frustrating discussion about the need to show up for work on time and neatly dressed - regardless of what job you’ll be working that night. His whole “why look neat when I’m just going to get dirty bussing tables” argument didn’t fly with me. I explained that every employee represents their company and needs to look neat and professional for the public regardless of their particular job. I continued, “Plus, you may get called to be a host one night – a job that you really enjoy – unless the boss gets a look at you in that wrinkled uniform. Son, do your best, look your best and be prepared when your big opportunity comes along.”

This reminds me of how our attitudes should be in our service to the Lord. Do we only give our best and look our best when all eyes are upon us in some big and important event? How do we approach the less glamorous side of ministry (bussing tables so to speak)? Jesus expects us to give our best in big and small areas of service. All ministry is important to our King. Quite often it’s the dedicated and unsung heroes who please our Lord the most. Besides, it’s the ones who have been faithful in the “small things” who will be rewarded with greater responsibilities in the future. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, Jesus taught us a valuable lesson in faithfulness. Two of the three servants were found to be faithful workers. Even though each of the faithful servants had been provided with different levels of resources (one given five talents and the other two), they both showed equal degrees of faithfulness with those resources entrusted to them. It was because of their equal level of faithfulness – not their level of output - that both servants received the same reward and the same praise from their master:

23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Matthew 25:23 (New International Version)

If at this particular time in your life the Master has you involved in “smaller things,” give that task your best effort. He sees all and He will reward you for your faithfulness. Just like the hardworking and well groomed busboy who will one day be promoted to host and eventually waiter, so will it be for the servant of Christ who faithfully gives his or her best in matters great and small. Your reward may or may not come in this life, but your “Well done” and its accompanying reward are guaranteed in the next.

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