"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.'" Luke 17:10
How pleased we often are with ourselves when we have carried out an assignment in a better than the usual way, when we have extended ourselves--gone the extra mile, as it were! We are thrilled because it seems so out of the ordinary. We seem to be saying, "Look, we didn't have to do all this, but we did it! Applause, please!"
Our Lord interrupts: "When you have done everything you were told to do [not only some of the things but everything], say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'" We are servants and deserve no credit; we only did our duty. What a blow to pride!
What we may consider unusual in the performance of our duty ought to be the usual. That is what Jesus wants. The good we do from time to time is something He wants to see happen all the time. That much goodness God gives us richly. His Son provided it with His suffering, death, and resurrection. The merits of His goodness are conveyed to us through Word and sacraments. Our Lord urges us to use His goodness. That's why He was so lavish in giving it to us.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to do our duty and to think nothing of it; in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)