Often when people ask me how I am doing, I will respond by saying, “Better than I deserve.” It is not a response I created. I learned it from Paul Drake, a saint who epitomizes the word faithful. When asked how he is doing, whether circumstances are good or trying, Paul can be counted on to say, “Better than I deserve.
Duty is a tough word and a resilient concept. When times are difficult and people suffer, duty gains respect. Just ask the generation of those Americans who grew up during the Great Depression and World War II era. They worked hard and long hours to survive and provide for their families when money was hard to obtain. Many senior citizens today have an outstanding work ethic because of what they learned through suffering.
Conversely, when the economy is cranking and people are well off, duty is less popular. Personal satisfaction, the “right to play” takes priority over the compulsion to meet a moral/job-related obligation. If you want to measure the state of a society, sample its sense of duty. The spiritual health of a church can also be gauged according to its faithfulness to obey God or its penchant to do only what is appealing.
Those who model a strong sense of duty often have a healthy understanding of grace. When we appreciate the fact that God loved us so profoundly that He would send Jesus to die for our sins, we have a heightened appreciation for what it means to serve Him! As sinners we don’t deserve grace. Yet if our faith is in Jesus Christ we are justified. We are declared free of blame because He took our sins on His own back. Therefore, when we serve we ought to serve with joy. We ought to work hard and faithfully because no matter what we are going through, we are blessed!
So don’t be discouraged! Keep on serving faithfully! By God’s grace, you are doing better than you deserve. If you are slacking, get off the bench and back in the game! If duty is disagreeable, it is a sign that we are in a disjointed relationship to God . . .
We glorify God by being faithful and that’s something to think about . . . in reveration!
Luke 17:10-- In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, “We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.”
Once we become rightly related to God, duty will never be a disagreeable thing of which we have to say with a sigh, “Oh, well, I must do my duty.” Duty is the daughter of God. Never take your estimate of duty after a sleepless night, or after a dose of indigestion; take your sense of duty from the Spirit of God and the words of Jesus.—Oswald Chambers in The Moral Foundations of Life
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)