Have you ever come across a Scripture passage that impacts you like one of those time-released medications, slowly dissolving into your bloodstream long after you take it?
Luke 17:10 periodically works on my heart that way. I’ve studied it, exegeted it, and preached it! No problem! Here it is: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Believe it or not, there have been times in my pastoral ministry when I began to focus on how busy I was for the Lord and others. Next, I would start to define and evaluate my ministry, faithfulness, and even who I am by how much I was doing. It feels good to have hard work recognized. It’s nice to clear out the “to do” list.
Sooner or later, this passage would dispense its time-released flow. My heart and mind would spin—Could I really be an unworthy servant even though I’m so busy and do so much for so many? Am I only performing a duty? What is faithfulness? What’s the difference between duty and ministry? What am I using to evaluate my ministry, my life? The wrestling match was on.
Truth is a hard pill to swallow and no one can take it for us. Be courageous, swallow hard, and let it begin to do its work on the heart disease called “self.” Oh, yes, take two and call me in the morning!