It’s the missing word in the modern world. In fact, it’s been replaced with the word, “ENTITLEMENT.” As in, “What can I get for free and what can you do for me?” It’s about “what I deserve,” “what you owe me,” “what you should do for me,” ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
The days of doing whatever it takes, working hard, showing up, pioneering your own path, always giving your best no matter what, and wanting to make a difference have become distant memories of another day.
Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a frenzy for freebies, a hustle for handouts and a craving for comfort, convenience and “cashing in” without it costing us anything.
We’ve been sold the lie for so long it sounds like the truth now. “Somebody, somewhere surely owes me something.” People look for the easy way, the cheap way and the lazy way. But most aren’t interested in the right way or the hard way – which quite often are the same thing.
The Bible calls all of us to a different way … a better way: The way of DUTY. JESUS told His disciples in Luke 17:10 (NIV), “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”
“Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a frenzy for freebies, a hustle for handouts and a craving for comfort, convenience and “cashing in” without it costing us anything.”
As servants of Christ, what exactly is our duty? I know our culture couldn’t care less, but as followers of Christ we should care about what our duty is in His Church. What should we be doing as faithful servants of the One Who said He “came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many? (Matthew 20:28)
What are we supposed to be doing?
Fanny Crosby, who was born blind, yet had greater insight into the things of God than most people who have ever lived, wrote these lines:
“Rescue the perishing, DUTY DEMANDS IT; strength for thy labor the Lord will provide.
Back to the narrow way, patiently win them; Tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died.”
Is it our duty anymore to tell people about JESUS or has that become irrelevant and unnecessary since most people no longer believe in Hell or a judgment to come? Do the “marching orders of the Master” no longer matter? (Matthew 28:18-20) And if it’s no longer our duty or responsibility, whose is it?
What about worship? Prayer? Spending time in God’s Word? What about giving faithfully and proportionately (“as the Lord has blessed us” – 1 Corinthians 16:2) to our church? What about serving in the Lord’s church? Or connecting in a small group?
Aren’t we supposed to do those things because we are supposed to do them? Or do we get a pass because of a global pandemic or something else? And you know there will always be “something else.” Are we supposed to have a sense of duty or has it become senseless to expect people to do what God says anymore?
One word separates a growing church from a dying church: DUTY. One word separates a faithful Christian from an unfaithful, backslidden Christian: DUTY. The world says, “If it feels good, do it.” No. A thousand times, NO!! If God says it, do it!
You know what will keep you on the right track when you no longer feel like doing what you know you ought to be doing? DUTY. When you no longer enjoy it, when your feelings get hurt, when someone disappoints you, when something happens you don’t really agree with, when your friends quit and walk away, you name it. There’s only one thing that will keep you on the field, in the game, giving it all you've got until the game is over: DUTY.
One thing kept Noah preaching repentance and building a boat when there wasn’t a single convert or a single drop of rain in sight. One thing kept Joseph faithful in the midst of all his temptations and trials. One thing kept Nehemiah at the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in the face of formidable opposition. One thing kept John the Baptist preaching passionately and fearlessly even when it meant certain death. One thing kept JESUS going all the way to Calvary’s cross: DUTY. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him Who sent me and to finish His work” (John 4:34).
The Bible says, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole DUTY of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
It’s time we recapture a sense of duty in the church and get back to doing what God has told us to do. And when we have done everything we were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants;
… we have only done our duty.”
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.