A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford
I have a friend who is in high level management in a large organization. She was interviewing a woman for an important position.. The woman smiled and said emphatically, “I will bring joy to this office.”
Many of us have worked in a place where gloom filled the atmosphere. We would have gladly welcomed someone who could help relieve the gloom and dispense joy.
But dispensing joy was not the purpose of the job. The job description was very specific and detailed. The employee was to do carefully what the employer gave her to do.
The Apostle Paul said it this way:
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
(1 Corinthians 4:2)
What a treasure it is to have a faithful employee; dependable, committed to the task, intelligently working, not overlooking the details! Other skills may be needed for the job, but none of them is valuable if the employee is not faithful. Jesus asked some of the people following Him, “So why do you call Me Lord and Master when you won’t obey Me?”
(Luke 6:46). Obedience is the essence of a good servant.
All of us have been given a trust of some kind, not just a job. God has entrusted some of us with home and family, friends, a church responsibility, a civic duty. And He requires us to be faithful.
Jesus told an intriguing parable about the expectations of an employer, and the remarkable reward he gave his servants for faithful service.
“Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. Be dressed for service and well prepared, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. There will be special favor for those who are ready and waiting for his return. I tell you, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! . . . . But whenever he comes, there will be special favor for his servants who are ready!” (Luke 12:34-38).
But there’s one more important aspect to this. I have often failed in being a faithful servant in tasks God has given me. So many of my obligations seem to be beyond my ability to fulfill. But here’s the wonderful promise God makes to you and me in Romans 14:4:
Who are you to judge another’s servant?
To his own master he stands or falls.
Indeed, he will be made to stand,
for God is able to make him stand.
Are you sometimes overwhelmed with the enormity of the responsibilities you carry? Take heart, dear friend. God is able to help you meet those tasks. And you will find it will be with joy, for joy is the beautiful by-product of faithfulness!
(Oh yes, in case you’re wondering, the woman who promised to bring joy did get the job.)