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Self-portraits
February 27, 2012
by Pastor John Cedar, Lamson Ev. Free Church, Dassel

A frustrated small business owner complained to me recently, “It is almost impossible to find decent, dependable help anymore. Nobody wants to work, but everybody certainly expects a paycheck just for showing up!”

The author, Henry Ward Beecher wrote in one of his many books, “When God wanted sponges and oysters, He made them, and put one on a rock, and the other in the mud. When He made a man, He did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with hands and feet, and head, and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them, and said to him, ‘Go, work!’”

An unknown author also penned these words: “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” Perhaps he or she wished to remain anonymous due to what they considered to be the failure of their own life’s labors. On the other hand, it is more likely that he or she was offering a challenge to some unmotivated, or just plain lazy, workers or co-workers.

Look around you. There are multitudes of people engaged in a variety of tasks. There are high achievers in some of these areas, and miserable failures in others.

There is Mr. Blank, for example, who is an excellent carpenter or bricklayer and takes great pride in his craftsmanship. Unfortunately, he is totally negligent in assuming his primary role as a husband or father.

Mrs. Swank is a marvelous hostess, and an invitation to one of her extravagant dinner parties is considered a social coup. She is so busy entertaining and being entertained, however, that she has little time to be a mother to her children or a wife to her husband.

Like Ebeneezer Scrooge, you may be known as highly successful in business, but a real loser as a human being. A teacher or clergy person may be outstanding in the classroom or the pulpit, but an example of spiritual and moral decadence in their private life.

How about you? What kind of self-portrait awaits your autograph? Will it merit the “Well done” of Almighty God? (Luke 19: 11 - 17) “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”