Links Daily Devotional

Walking Faithfully

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2, NIV)

A caddie—as you may recall from Ian Woosnam’s justifiable but spicy tirade when the 2001 British Open Championship leader was told he had an extra club in his bag upon arriving at the second tee of the final round—has but one [insert expletive here] job.

It’s not true, of course. Assuring that his player is not overloaded with clubs is but one of many jobs a professional caddie must do. But in Woosnam’s case, the two-shot penalty ended up costing the Welshman more than £200,000 and eventually a spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team. To Woosnam’s credit he stuck with the caddie, Miles Byrne—that was until Byrne didn’t show up for a tee time two weeks later and Woosnam had to break into his locker to get his shoes.

Miles Byrne, like all caddies and all workers, had been given a trust. He broke it. He proved unfaithful.

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, he spoke of the responsibility and the work of the apostles, including himself. He used words like “servants” and “entrusted” and “motives.” We might think, I could be faithful in those ways. But as we read on, the descriptions become onerous: “cursed,” “persecuted,” “slandered,” “the refuse of the world.” Not so easy there. The work of an apostle was not only a sacred trust, it was a greatly demanding one, even unto death for nearly all of them.

The trusts we have been given rarely carry us to such ends. Even when we work long and late, the DVR holds onto Sunday afternoon’s round so we can watch it on delay. When we answer the call to teach the squirreliest of Sunday school children, we go home to a nap. We’ve postponed vacations, yes, but they’re always out there, like the proverbial carrot.

So while we may rejoice in softened responsibilities, we must never lapse in this: our faithfulness. We have all, to whatever degree and for whatever occasion or season, been given a trust. We guard our marriage, train our children, respect our boss and our employees. We watch out for our neighbors, encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, and reach with compassion into our communities. And above all this, we trumpet the Gospel, not letting it be weakened or whisked aside. We faithfully give glory to God in all things.

Our trust and our faithfulness are necessarily knitted together if we are to honor the Lord. We are given one; we respond with the other.

Jeff Hopper
January 20, 2015
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