Common Sense as well as Devotion are Needed for the Service of God
Each one of you is an administrator of what belongs to another; Cast off the pride of authority, and put on the humility, prudence and common sense of a steward, accountable for his/her acts. For you are a sojourner who has received the privilege of only a temporary and fleeting use of the things in your possession.
When Abraham Lincoln was campaigning for the presidency, one of his archenemies was Edwin McMasters Stanton. Stanton hated Lincoln, and used every ounce of his energy to degrade Lincoln in the eyes of the public, often using the bitterest diatribes in an attempt to embarrass him.
In the process of choosing his cabinet after his election, Lincoln selected various members and then faced a decision about the important post of Secretary of War. He chose Stanton! Numerous advisors came to Lincoln saying, "Mr. President, you are making a mistake. Are you familiar with all the ugly things he has said about you? He is your enemy. He will sabotage your programs."
Lincoln replied, "Yes, I know Mr. Stanton. But ... I find he is the best man for the job."
As Secretary of War Stanton gave invaluable service to his nation and his president. After Lincoln was assassinated, many laudable statements were made about Abraham Lincoln, but the words of Stanton remain among the greatest. Standing near Lincoln's coffin, Stanton called Lincoln, one of the greatest man who ever lived and said, "He now belongs to the ages."
The topic for our meditation is “Common sense as well as devotion are needed for the service of God”
Common sense is important to us. We can’t get along very well without it. The basic Philosophy of communication is to have common sense.
Common sense is what people in common would agree: that which they "sense" in common as their common natural understanding.
How many times have we made decisions in our lives, important decisions, on the basis of common sense? And yet we have discovered we needed more than common sense; we needed a word from the Lord. How often could it be said of us, “They did not inquire of the Lord”? How often do we make important decisions in our lives without really coming before the Lord to plead for His wisdom and that is the only ‘Common sense’
In the history of Israel in the eighth century BC, we find this scenario of God's Church of that era, that is Israel. Yes! Israel, had become so saturated with the things of the world that the institution was in danger of collapse. Northern Israel had already fallen, and Southern Israel (Judah) was only hanging on because King Hezekiah was fighting with all his might to drive paganism out of Israel.
It was a losing battle. God's representatives, the Levites, had allowed compromise to enter into Israel. Idols were left standing in the cities unharmed while the people modified their relationship with God to maintain "political correctness". The family unit was slowly degrading. Canaanite Baal-Worship allowed for child sacrifice and ritual prostitution. The ideals that God established as normal and natural were slowly being cast aside - and those prophets who rejected these "changes" were maligned, cast away, ignored.
Now Israel needed a revival. Not a circus, or a time of entertainment, but a revival where hearts were broken and relationships restored to God. Common sense and devotion were needed among the Israelites. They need the Revival. Friends, today we need Common sense. Not a circus, or a time of entertainment, but Common sense where our hearts are broken and we are restored to a right relationship with God.
God is speaking to us all today through many means. We can either choose God, or choose the world. We can choose to dedicate our lives to Christ, or follow after worldliness. Yes! We do need to have Common sense and devotion especially when we are in the service of God.
All of us are in the service of God through whatever, wherever we render our services in our workplaces. Friends! Listen to this as I say that there is one fictitious and false conception prevalent among people, this false conception multiplies one’s transgressions, and diminishes the good, which we ought, each of us, to do. This false conception is that all that we have to enjoy in this life we possess as lords and masters. And on account of this notion we do fiercely fight and war and contend for it and protect it to the utmost as a precious possession.
Now the truth of the matter is not so, but quite otherwise. For none of those things which we have received is our own, nor do we as absolute possessors and lords dwell in this life as in a house of our own; but as sojourners, and strangers, and wanderers, and when we do not expect it, we are led whither we would not go. And when it seems good to the Lord we are deprived of the possession of our wealth. Wherefore the enjoyment of this perishable life is very liable to change.
He/she, who is today glorious, is tomorrow an object of pity, eliciting compassion and help. He/she, who is now prosperous and flourishing in wealth, suddenly finds themselves poor, without even bread to support life. In this respect especially does our God surpass mortals, in that he is always the same, and in the same state, and possesses life and glory and power inalienable.
In the Gospel according to Luke 16.1-12, we find Luke fashioned us a parable that, by way of preface, in which he describes the steward of other men's goods as groaning and troubled, because, being luxurious and extravagant, he has heard from the master of the money and property, the words, "Give an account of thy stewardship and depart, for I will not suffer thee to revel in my possessions, as though they were thine own." Now this is not the narrative of a thing that really took place, but the fiction of a parable, which by obscure sayings inculcates moral virtue.
Know then, that each one of you is an administrator of what belongs to another; cast off then the pride of authority, and put on the humility, prudence and common sense of a steward, accountable for his/her acts. Be always waiting for your Lord, to whom with fear you must render a strict account. For you are a sojourner who has received the privilege of only a temporary and fleeting use of the things in your possession,
Yes! We possess an estate, having either inherited it from our fathers, or obtained it by some exchange. Call up therefore in memory and count over, if we can, all who have occupied it before us. And direct our mind also to the time to come, and think how many are to occupy it after us.
Then tell who owns it, and to who does it especially belong; those who have had it, or those who now have it, or those who in the future are to have it? For if someone should in some way or other calls them all together, the owners would be found more numerous than the clods. Such, is our life:
“O man (sic), nothing is your own. You are a slave and what is yours belongs to your Lord. For a slave has no property that is really his/her own”.
For naked you were brought into this life. What you have you have received by the dispensation of your Lord. Thus be a just steward rather than an unjust steward.
Always Use Common Sense And Devotion For The Service Of God
Rev. Dr. Joel Patrick is currently working as the Associate Professor in Communication at Bishop's College, Kolkata.
Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash