BLOG––Encouraged by Faith

Good and Faithful Servant

Posted by Scott Morris on

Most of my life I’ve wanted to be what God wants me to be. I’ll admit there were some times when that was not my intent. I was fortunate to survive those interludes of self-centered folly, and I consider it a blessing from God to have experienced a few death-defying thrills without paying the rightful penalty for my rebellion and defiance. Thinking back, I believe God saw me as a willful child with a greater purpose whose life would serve His will in the long run. 

When they were very young, I used to tell my children that nothing they ever did would cause me not to love them. I believe God is like that toward His own children.

Our lives have many parallels with the parables of Jesus. I haven’t seen a scholarly paper or much scientific evidence to prove my view, but it is my observation and consideration of my own lifetime that much of what we experience in life has a plot like a parable. Jesus tells someone’s story and reveals that the outcome results from faith or willful resistance.

For anyone interested in living a righteous life, the trick is being proactive in faith. We usually react to circumstances; a failure or disappointment, a loss, or a rejection. Our perspective can be changed so that we anticipate the outcomes of our actions and prepare ourselves to respond to the results, good or bad. 

I fish. Maybe you golf or play tennis. Whatever your “sport,” you never begin with absolute certainty regarding the outcome. If you choose to play golf with me, you may have a confident expectation of winning, but things happen that might allow me to prevail, improbable as that may be. Similarly, if you are over six feet tall, you are fully justified in expecting to outplay me on the basketball court. When I go fishing, I expect to catch something every time, but I don’t. How I react to the disappointment of losing a game or being “skunked” while I’m fishing depends mostly on my prior expectations.

Is God a part of my expectations? Is my activity outcome-focused or endeavor-focused? How we plan, practice and play is very important. Good sportsmanship is akin to faithfulness. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes the fish don’t bite. Sometimes our favorite teams lose. We can manage our perspectives so that sportsmanship, or faithfulness, is the real objective. This matters more to God than the outcome of any game or activity.

The evidence of my faith is not the number of fish I catch. It is evident much earlier, long before I wet a hook. You may not notice, but I am thinking about a fishing trip now that will not actually occur until the nighttime lows are over fifty degrees for a week, at least. My plans include considering other obligations and even others’ expectations of me. I know God wants me to be thoughtful and to take care of my responsibilities, and he does not want me to neglect the needs of other people who depend on me. So my plans include a lot of “IFs” and even “IFFs” (If and only if). I hope to go fishing in the spring, but if I do, I will have some certainty that that activity is in accordance with God’s will for me. My highest hope for every endeavor is to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

 

Comments

to leave comment

 

© 2019 North Central Church of Christ   |   9015 Westfield Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46240