Herald JournalColumns
Feb. 6, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Faithfulness gives us freedom

By Thor Skeie, All Saints Lutheran, Darwin

We live in a success oriented world. Much of what we do either personally or corporately is expected to produce, and that production or lack of it spells success or failure.

The question I raise, however, is, “What is success and how is it demonstrated or measured?”

The business world sets goals and measures success in terms of sales volume, numbers and balance sheet. These benchmarks can actually be measured and compared with previous performances. The athletic world spells success by the number of wins in the win column and net revenue produced at the gate. These too, can also be measured. Now there is nothing wrong with setting goals. In fact, goal setting is good, for it serves as an incentive to reach that for which we strive. But does attainment necessarily mean success?

Interesting though, is the fact that our Lord does not require that we be successful. Rather he talks about “faithfulness.” Jesus reminds us of the rewards of faithfulness when he says, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” In Rev. 2:10 God commands us “to be faithful until death and he will give us the crown of life.” Granted that if in our faithfulness we find success, this is an added blessing to our life. Faithfulness means that I can by trusted, it means that I have committed myself to the One who gave himself for me. Faithfulness is knowing and living for a faithful God.

In my limited sphere of knowledge, I really don’t know what it will be like after I die, or what heaven exactly means, or be like or what it means to be eternal, or even how the risen Lord will show himself. I cannot let myself be distracted by daydreams where all my conflicting desires are satisfied in a wish-come-true hereafter. But I pray believing. I pray in faith, and I turn myself toward a faithful God who will bring forth his promises. As the apostle Paul reminds us, “Now we know only in part, but then (in the future) I will know fully.”

This hope, this sense of faithfulness then, gives me a new freedom which lets me look realistically at life without feeling dejected, defeated or of no value because I did not measure up to what others considered success.

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