Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thoughts About Stewardship: What Being Faithful Really Means

I was thinking about Hong Teck's sermon. Personally, I think it's a great sermon... =) perhaps also because Hong Teck's the kind of person who will really think through what he's been taught and not blindly parrot it. LOL. That's a very strong statement, to say, "not blindly parrot it". I write that way, because I was thinking back to my earlier days, when people would talk about the need to be faithful and trustworthy... and efficiency was highly lauded and esteemed. I know of a couple of dear brothers who would really push themselves and share about how little they slept in order to meet deadlines.

Now, I'm not saying that it's not good to be responsible. No lah! In fact, that's something I've been learning from their examples... but about the two brothers... I noticed what I think was a difference in the way they said that they have to push the deadlines.

One said in a manner that said, "It's a duty. And I share this, so that you too can learn to do your duty." Somehow that came across to me as dry and one that left a rather astringent taste in your mouth.

The other said in a manner that said, "I want to do it to bring glory to God. To bless the other person." Ooooh.

No prizes for guessing who inspired me more to be faithful and push myself to meet deadlines.

Hmm... why do I write this? To give a judgement on how we should say things? No... I don't think that's what I intended. (But please forgive me if I really am being judgemental...)

But rather, I was thinking... when we teach the virtue and value of faithfulness to others... do we really know what it means to be faithful? Is being faithful all about meeting deadlines on time or early? Having a grim, "just-do-it" attitude? Hmm... no... I dun think that's what faithfulness is all about.

We have unwittingly dried up the sweetness and juiciness of faithfulness.

To a small extent, granted, faithfulness does require that we be reliable and on time, to the best of our abilities. However, I believe faithfulness is more than just being efficient. In fact, it seems to me from the Bible that God doesn't really cares that much about efficiency, but about whether we finish the right things in the first place. In fact, I think if you do the wrong things efficiently, then you're not being faithful with the talents God has given you. That's just... face-palm worthy. GG.

Instead, from what I have read in the parable of the talents... faithfulness is much, much more wonderful than that. It is multiplying your talents. It is reproducing your 100%. So all ye cuddly phlegmatics can take heart and get off thy rocking chairs.

Faithfulness is also about endurance. It is not how fast you can finish the race, but how long you can last. Faithful even unto the point of death. The battle belongs not only to the mighty general who can bravely charge and take on a thousand men. It belongs too to the humble private who bravely huddles in the mud-swollen trenches in the third hour of the bombardment. Of such unknown faithfuls are battles of the faith consistently won.

The question, then, should be: Are you doing the things God wants you to do? Jesus prayed on the night He was sentenced to die: "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do."

That is true faithfulness. Completing the work the Father has given us to do. Do you know the work the Father has given you to do? Or are you assigning your own work to do? And are you set on seeing God's work brought to completion? "Without God, we cannot. But without us, God will not."

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