Duty

05 November 2019
‘We have only done our duty.’

When we do good things for others, make sacrifices, and put others first, we can want people’s appreciation for our efforts. We want them to recognise what we’ve done, so we can find ourselves trying to remind them of all the things we’ve done in order to gain their approval. But lots of times we don’t get that recognition, so we’re left with three choices. 1) Self-pity. When we feel sorry for ourselves because we haven’t got what we thought we deserved, we can start making generalised statements. Things like ‘Everyone’s against me’, or ‘I’m never treated fairly.’ When the hurt or disappointment fades, we know that those statements aren’t true. But they can feel true when we’ve become trapped in self-pity. 2) Resentment. Sometimes we can hold things against people, and allow bitterness to grow in our hearts. We feel resentful that we’ve not been given the recognition we think we deserve. And that resentment affects how we feel about serving others, and damages our relationships too. 3) Focus on duty. In Luke 17, Jesus taught His disciples using the story of a servant and his master. It was the servant’s duty to work all day, and then prepare the food for his master. The master wouldn’t be expected to thank him, because he was purely doing his duty. In today’s society, we live in expectation of appreciation. It’s good to build others up with encouragement (take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:11), but we shouldn’t expect a ‘thank you’ for serving God and loving His people. It’s our duty and our calling. So let’s serve others with no expectation of anything in return.

 

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