Devotional: December 14th
Throughout my fifty-three years plus of life on this planet I have held a lot of jobs. When I was just a little guy about twelve I was mowing lawns in my neighborhood and, at times, was quite prosperous doing it. I can remember one week in 1963 when I actually banked $40. That may not sound like much today but there were a lot of families at that time in which the main bread winner was making about $80 a week and doing well.
My parents had ingrained in me the concept of overkill in doing someone's lawn. I trimmed as well as mowed. That was before the string trimmer which meant I was getting down on my hands and knees and using a little hand trimmer to clip the weeds around the yard's border and plants. The money was good but I particularly liked it when the owner came out and said, "Well done." That bolstered my acceptance of my parents' instruction as well as the personal satisfaction of having done well.
Over the years I have found that those two words, embodying thankfulness, appreciation and approval, have always buoyed me to continue to work hard for those who are my "bosses". My Senior year in high school I had the privilege to work as a plumber's apprentice with my next door neighbor. Franklin Sears was a very busy man and knew plumbing and heating inside out. No one called him Franklin or even Frank. He was known as "Boss". Boss would give me a job to do and let me know if I didn't do it right. But when I did it right I heard those two words again...well done.
John Ashcroft said, "The worst mistake a boss can make is not to say, 'well done.' " I agree with him. Workers respond to just such a positive feedback. They realize that they have pleased their boss and done what was required with a measure of expertise and excellence. "Well done" is a stamp of approval which stays with a person into their next project. It sets a mark for personal achievement that goes beyond just performing the task assigned. Jesus understood this.
In His parable of the talents in Matthew 25, Jesus tells of men who were given a task. Two servants in particular were singled out for their excellence of service. Their Lord's response is given through the words of Jesus. "His Lord Said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.' " Matthew 25:21, 23 Jesus directed this story to eternity. One day He will return. Those of us who have been faithful in our lives to commit what He has given us will hear the Lord say, "Well done. Enter into the joy of your Lord."
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