My dad has always been a man of excellence. He not only taught me with words but by his actions that any job worth doing is worth doing well. My dad has never taken short cuts or cut corners and done any less of a job to make life easier on himself. He is a man of quality. We don`t see that a lot any more in a society that prizes pleasure over work. Instead of pleasure being a distraction from a hard days work it has become the purpose of a hard day`s work. We work so that we can play. Work is the evil we must face in order to enjoy the pleasure we want to live. But we were created to work.
I have no delusions when it comes to the Kingdom of God; I am a servant of the King, a worker of the harvest. I have not been saved to serve my own pleasure and to be pampered by God. I have been saved and left here as a Kingdom citizen with tasks that I am to complete. I have been warned that there will be tough days and that many will see themselves as my enemy but I am under the authority of the King and his protection. And I have been told to be faithful to these tasks I have been given and to be found doing them on the King`s return. There are no short cuts and my King is looking for quality.
Paul`s instruction to Timothy was in this same spirit as he wrote:
Do your best to win God’s approval as a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed and who teaches only the true message. (2 Timothy 2:15)
How does a workman avoid feeling ashamed? By doing the best at everything he does. Again I feel I must put in this side note. I am not talking about salvation. Everything you need done to belong to God has been done for you. We are not talking salvation here but being a faithful workman in the Kingdom, completing the tasks that have been given to us. A carpenter knows that if he does not do his best it will soon be seen by everyone. He wants to feel good every time he looks on his handy work, not shame because it is falling apart. The same can be said of everyone whose work will be put on display, whether it be musicians, plumbers, actors, parents and Kingdom workmen.
Do you realize that our work will be put on display on the day we are asked to give account for what we did with what we were given? Short cuts will be seen. Shoddy work will be shown. Half-measures will be clear to everyone. And it is not just then. Do you not feel the conviction of the Spirit when you let go of an opportunity? Do you not feel troubled when you only give your minimum to the work of the Kingdom? Do you really have a sense of satisfaction when you say `good enough`?
Maybe you are not laying bricks or patching pot holes or painting houses but the work you do is plainly seen by the King. When you tell that friend that you don`t have time for them because you want to watch the hockey game, it is seen.When you lose patience and walk away from a person who `should know better`, it is seen. When someone asks you about your faith and you are too ashamed to talk to them about Jesus, it is seen. When we put more finances and time into what distracts us then into the mission we have been given, it is seen. When a need is presented and we ignore it, as if we didn`t see it, it is seen. When we choose sin over righteousness, it is seen.
Paul told Timothy to do his best to win God`s approval. Is that how you live your day, wanting to do your best so you win your Father`s approval? Some people have problems with such a thought but it is there, plan as day, in the Bible to read. How you live your life matters. How you approach the Kingdom work matters. You are a workman so be one that works hard and wins the approval of our Father. No short cuts.