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A good servant

What does the Bible tells us about being a good servant to God?  These days we often misunderstand the significance of being a servant to God.  Is it being religious and going to Church on Sundays?  Or is there a more direct and more meaningful interpretation?

To gain more of an awareness, we may look at what Ephesians 6:5-8 tells us, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”  Consequently, we must not stray from living our lives with honest work and respect for one another, not merely to “act” sincere but to become sincere in all our efforts.  Focusing on our efforts to please ourselves, [work] bosses, our families and fellow beings by working hard with respectful intent biblically and realistically will provide its own reward.  However, as we all know, there are no safe passages in life as we are tested daily by the demons and temptations all around us.  Only our strong character, determination and faith will ensure we remain focused on living a good and proper life and in doing so will make us good servants to God.

Colossians 3:23 tells us “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” which encourages us to make the most of our lives with love, intelligence, caring for one another, being honest and righteous and staying on a good path without lusting for the evils that may befall humans in a difficult world and time..

In our modern times, these words and actions are more difficult to observe and to live by.  Too often we are on the path of materialistic endeavors, for power or money, as if attaining those questionable assets will provide us with a better life.  Frequently, the powerful and wealthy are plagued by evils that interfere with living what the Bible would consider is a good life.  Furthermore, we are persuaded by every day advertising what our needs are and what we should strive for.  However, are these the values and needs we should strive for?  Will the acquisition of power, money and other materialistic things make us better people and good servants of God?

Acts 20:35 tells us that “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”  We must remember, as the Bible tells us, that working hard in life brings its own rewards and that working with and helping each other is the supreme blessing of life.  The focus on making money and buying material things may actually interfere with that principle and reasoning.  Inevitably we may falter and lose our way as we wear blinders, driven to “succeed” and staying narrowly focused on our materialistic acquisitions and not on living our lives with hard work and good intentions.

In referring to our biblical examples of character, we are told to be good, just and caring, 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  In other words, we should live a good life and work hard, yet always look out for one another, especially within our families, to help provide to those who may be weak and those who may falter, for those who need our help in honorably and ethically walking down the road of life.  Furthermore, to see one suffering or needing our support and turning away from helping them, biblically speaking, is as if we are committing a sin by not helping out.

However, our contemporary lives are often hindered by the devils around us and by the company we keep.  There are many temptations throughout our lives that are not in our best interests, yet we are prone to deceive ourselves into false beliefs that will cause harm to ourselves and to our families.  1 Corinthians 15:33 acknowledges, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'”  Permitting temptation to lead us astray will impede our positive growth.  A wrong direction may destroy the life we once knew.  It may irreparably destroy our relationship and family.  It could cause us to lose jobs or our honorable reputations.

So in the end, God expects us to live a good and earnest life, one that retains faith in Him and in the Universe, a life that is filled with good intentions and helping those in need.  We are to live a life of honor, working hard, staying away from evil temptations that cause us to stray from our true paths that ultimately would cause pain and humiliation to ourselves and to our families.  Respecting ourselves and others is the guiding light of our existence. 

Today, many have lost their way.  Golfing great, Tiger Woods, is a prime example.  Woods is a man with tremendous skills.  He worked hard for himself and for his family.  However, he permitted temptation and bad company to challenge his direction.  He fell from his righteous path into a ditch of disparity.  His hardships were multiplied and his efforts were tripled in climbing back up from the muck of his own creation.  He had lost sight not only of his direction in life, but he also lost his servitude to God, his self respect and betrayed his family and relatives.

It is easier to stay on the path of honor, than to falter and willingly fall off into a perilous gulley.  It is best to preserve your faith, good will and respect than to allow yourself to succumb to the vices permeating all around us.

As Tiger Woods fell to the demons around us, so must we be more vigilant against them.  Woods serves as the example for all of us.  It is easy to get caught-up in earthly pleasures, but there is a huge price to pay.  Is it not easier to resist those temptations than to succumb to them?  Woods highlights the point that we humans are a weak and frail lot.  While we may aspire to lofty ambitions, we also are prone to fall along the way.  We may lose sight of our faith and true objectives; therefore we must remain vigilant and focused on our true direction as provided for us in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Only by maintaining our constant vigilance and honor may we continue on the path to a respectful life and being good servants of God.  As stated in, 1 Corinthians 8:9-13, “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

Stay true to yourself, to God and to your families.  Work hard and prosper graciously, without causing envy to your fellow beings.  Eliminate the desires for endless materialistic objects, as they are not the true path of living and enlightenment.  Stay on the path and on-track in your life’s quest and resist the temptations that remain all around.  Live with honor and respect for yourself and others.  Doing so will ensure a long, honorable and prosperous life.   Resist the temptations circling around us.  Maintain a righteous focus throughout life, being a servant to God and share your knowledge, friendship, aid and faith with each other.  Place the material values in perspective.  These are not the reasons for living.  In fact, attaining them could restrict or hinder our character and our honorable direction.  Being a servant to God is not always easy, yet it actually may be the simplest path in life.  We need to remain centered on our life’s path, to keep our feet firmly on the ground and to resist the negative elements all around us.