This morning in our Saturday Morning Men's Group (called Men of Faith) we talked about a passage that struck me in a different way. The text is in Luke 17:7-10 which states:
(ESV) Unworthy Servants 7 “Will any one of you who has a servant[a] plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly,[b] and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants;[c] we have only done what was our duty.’”.
I am not sure about the rest of you, but what hit me in the text is a mulititude of emotions that become evident in my life at various times and places as events unfold. That is to say, when there are other stresses of life events that cause me to stray away from being the man that God wants me to be. As I was preparing to lead this morning earlier in the week, I conveniently stumbled (thank you Holy Spirit) on a blog entry from Tim Keller, in which Tim so eloquently talks about John Newton.
Tim gave a list of his that I used to begin the bible study with before going onto Luke 17:7-10. Here is Tim's list:
Austerus is a solid and disciplined Christian, but abrasive, critical and ungenerous in dealing with people, temperamental, seldom giving compliments and praise, and almost never gentle.
Infitialis is a person of careful and deliberate character, but habitually cynical, negative, and pessimistic, always discouraging (“that will never work”), unsupportive and vaguely unhappy.
Pulsus is passionate, but also impulsive and impatient, not thinking things through, speaking too soon, always quick to complain and lodge a protest, often needing to apologize for rash statements.
Querulus is a person of strong convictions, but known to be very opinionated, a poor listener, argumentative, not very teachable, and very slow to admit they were wrong.
Subjectio is a resourceful and ambitious person, but also someone who often shades the truth, puts a lot of spin on things (close to misrepresentation), is very partisan, self-promoting, and turf-conscious.
Potestas gets things done, but needs to control every situation, has trouble sharing power, has a need to do everything him or herself, and is very suspicious and mistrustful of others.
Fragilis is friendly and seeks friends, but constantly gets his or her feelings hurt, easily feels slighted and put down, is often offended and upset by real and imagined criticism by others.
Curiosus is very sociable, but enjoys knowing negative things about people, finds ways of passing the news on, may divulge confidences, and enjoys confrontation too much.
Volatilis is very kind-hearted and eager to help, but simply not reliable—isn’t punctual, doesn’t follow through on promises, is always over-extended, and as a result may do shoddy work.
What surprised me next was the amount of "quiet" was in the room. You seen, normally these guys like to talk, but not this time. It seemed like Tim's "latin phrases" through the Holy Spirit struck a chord with the guys. It was not my intent to condemn, but rather to put things in perspective, which is why we went right to Luke 17:7-10. To me, that verse tells us that we are to live in such a way that when others look at our lives (our actions, our deeds and our thoughts) that they see the light and love of Jesus Christ. When we do his will and not ours, it is amazing at what God will do through us if we just sumbmit and obey his will.
As you read these verses I would like you to put this in perspective and use this as a time to do a self check and possilby a time of confession in where we are with Jesus. Draw near to him and see what he can and will do in your life.