I want you to think about going to a restaurant. You go in and the place looks kinda nice. You sit down, and the chair doesn’t fall. You touch the table – aaand it’s clean. The waiter comes, and takes your order. Your food arrives, and it isn’t so bad. Then you leave a decent tip and as you’re walking out the door the waiter comes up to you smiling and he’s like, “Would you like to take a brief survey on how we did! You’ll be entered in a raffle to win a free cruise to Bermuda!” You’re like, “Sure, whatever.”
For whatever reason you do the survey. Maybe you wanted the cruise. You start filling it out and it’s asking for one of those 1-5 rating deals. What would you rate it? Would you give it a five? Even if you did give a five, would you really be thinking it was spectacular amazing service! Or more like, yeah it was alright, I mean I’m payin them right? To be honest, the second opinion would be how I would feel, I mean, they didn’t do anything worthy of accolades. They did their job right?
In Luke 17, Jesus says almost the exact same thing. He says,
“But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.”
Jesus basically says that a servant does what he is told and that kind of behavior is expected from him. Yeah, it’s expected. The servant does his duty, and it’s not thankworthy.
Listen to what he says in the next verse: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
How’s that for self-esteem confidence building? Jesus basically says that when you do what is right, it’s no big deal! You don’t deserve a thank you. Ouch!
In our culture, it’s almost customary to give a thank you whether it’s deserved or not. Don’t you kinda expect a thank you when you do something nice, or when you give a gift? I know I do. Jesus says simply, “It’s only your duty.”
When you are faced with something that you must do or an insurmountable task or a job that isn’t quite fun. When you get the job done, remember, no matter if you are thanked or not. You are a servant of Christ, and you have done what was your duty to do, nothing more nothing less.
It’s a humbling thought. It’s a Christlike thought.