Friday, February 20, 2015

Luke 17:9-10 -- On Duty and Thanks

"Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
Luke 17:9-10

My favorite part of this is "I trow not."  I think we should start saying "trow" instead of "think" more often and bring it back. :)  But aside from the humor, there are some really good things here.  This is the end part of a lesson on Faith that Christ was sharing with his apostles.  I think the point of the lesson is that we think of faith and works and commandments kind of backwards. 
The best similarity I can think of is Corporate America.  We agree to do a job for a specific wage and benefits package.  That is the basic fact.  But then when we get inside the company, we expect a lot more things.  We want appreciation and thanks, for doing what we are already obligated to do... and TONS of other things, sometimes at the cost of the other people trying to do their jobs.  And I'm not arguing that appreciation and the art of motivation are wrong or bad.  Employers could be better... but so could employees.  The best situation is where both sides recognize that they aren't "owed" more than agreed on in the original transaction, but are both grateful for the extra effort taken to enhance the relationship.
I think that this is sort of like our situation with God, except God already is better, and we are not.  We feel like he owes us something, all the time, when he has already offered us, freely, everything he has.  But if we want to be promoted to his job, we first have to learn it.  And he is teaching us all the time, helping us learn more and more and do new jobs until we master the next level... but all we do is continue to demand, never stopping to realize that God owes us nothing, and we owe him everything.  All that we have is through his grace.  And all of this work that we are grudgingly doing is all part of what we agreed to in the first place.  The only thing that we can gift God with is our willingness and our cheerfulness in tackling our challenges and doing our daily tasks.  Today, let's remember all that God has done for us and for the whole of humanity.  And then let's get our there and be thankful rather than whiny.  Let's do everything we can to make the relationship better.  Let's do good, and find ways to uplift others.  Let's remember that God is the coolest one in the room, and when we're tempted to demand or think that we're actually involved in a popularity contest, let's remember our new phrase: "I trow not." :)

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