The Message (MSG)
5-8 Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.
I ponder often what will I sacrifice to give God my best efforts. In trying to elevate my obedience to Christ and become a steward of my gifts, I took a look at Booker T. Washington and the book of Ephesians. The order from the head teacher was abrupt: “The classroom needs sweeping. Take the broom and sweep it.”
Young Booker T. Washington knew this was his chance> He swept the room three times and then dusted the furniture four times. When the head teacher came back to evaluate his work, she inspected the floor closely and then used her handkerchief to rub the woodwork around the walls, the table, and the students benches. When she could not find one speck of dust anywhere in the room, she said quietly, “I guess you will do to enter this institution.”
Cleaning a classroom was booker T. Washington’s entrance examination to Hampton Institute in Virginia. In later years, he would recall this as the turning point in his life. He wrote in his autobiography, Up from Slavery, “I have passed several examinations since then, but I have always felt that this was the best one I ever passed.”
Slacking off, goofing off, and dozing off rarely open doors of opportunity. Those doors are best opened and entered into by consistent, excellent effort. Give your family, your job, your community, and your God your best effort today! Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work.
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