So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ (Luke 17:10)
I have to confess that I really like it when people pat me on the head and tell me I’ve done a good job. I think it’s appropriate to show appreciation for a job well done, but sometimes we can become a little too addicted to that “attaboy”. Instead of doing a job because it’s good and necessary, we do it looking for the kudos and accolades.
In Jesus’ day, the world’s economy ran on slavery. The people understood the mindset of the slave. Though some slaves might have a kind and gracious master, most slaves knew they were just a piece of property. As believers, we have become “servants” of God. He has purchased us for an extremely high price. Yes, Jesus calls us “friends”, but we shouldn’t forget that the apostles, Peter and Paul, both called themselves “slaves” of Jesus Christ (2Pet 1:1; Rom. 1:1).
Some of our modern work ethic has lost this sense of “duty”. We tend to be reluctant to commit to a job unless we know what’s in it for us. Our mindset ought to be about serving our good Master, instead of serving ourselves. We ought to trust His guidance and judgment and simply do our duty. You may not always get the “thanks” you deserve, but you will have done the right thing.