by Pastor Tim Burt
I was talking with a retired friend, Bob, who had taken on a part-time job. His new boss loved him so much, he kept increasing his hours. His boss then asked him why he was different from everyone else he had hired. He told him it was because of his love for Jesus and his desire to be a good Christian and leader no matter what job he did. His boss needed to hire another man. Do you have anyone else like you at your church? Bob brought in another retired friend from church. His boss needed to hire another and another. He kept coming to Bob, Do you have any more of you in your church who will come work for us?
As he was telling me this story, he said, Thank you Pastor Tim! It’s obvious we stand out. We work hard, We are respectful and diligent to do a great job. And we work hard to let people see the love of Jesus in us through our smiles and kindness. You always taught us that! The others guys call in sick all the time. They need to be told over and over what to do. They aren’t dependable. We always show up and rarely ever call-in sick. We do what we are asked and more. He loves our faithfulness! And so the boss wants to keep hiring guys from the church. This reminded me of the words in Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) which says, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?”
As a young Christian man, I came upon the life-changing words in 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) that said, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” These words gripped my heart so strongly, I knew the Lord was speaking to me through them. Was I faithful? Was i trustworthy? As I looked back, I could see that God had strategically placed key people in my past that had modeled faithfulness in their life before me. But these biblical words saying that faithfulness is a requirement of stewardship or being a good manager and leader woke me up. They began to immediately work transformation within me. I was thankful that I had seeds of faithfulness deposited in my life along the way.
When I was fourteen years old, I received a job as a stock boy in a small grocery store. The gentleman who hired me, Ozzie, turned out to be like a second dad to me. I just loved him. He put a lot of faith in me. He treated me like an adult. He taught me many wonderful values and business principles. He put unmerited trust in me, giving me responsibility. He had a way of expecting faithfulness out of me. Because he put faith in me, I wanted so bad to be someone he could count on. I became that person. I would do anything for that man. I worked hard eventually managing three small grocery stores for him at the age of 18 years old. He had planted seeds of faithfulness in me.
My own father was one of the hardest working men I had ever known. He was amazingly faithful to his boss and to his profession and became one of the the very best in his field. He modeled an incredible work ethic. He was a father of ten and he was faithful to his job, His wife, and to being a great dad to his children. He continually made sacrifices in his life to be faithful to his boss and to mom and us. As I got older and was able to appreciate the sacrifices that he had made for us, I wanted more and more to become like him. My father had planted seeds of what being faithful looked like and they had taken root. Being faithful was a character quality I wanted to have and be known for.
The Holy Spirit would constantly challenge me with the value of faithfulness to Him. Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” I would constantly be challenged in church through the Pastor’s words, “If you want to grow in God, then learn to give. Learn to give of your love, your time, your talents and service, and your resources. Let God stretch you. Let God draw out those undiscovered gifts and talents within you through your commitment and service to Him and your church.
When I’m in church, I am surrounded by faithful men and women that work together for the sake of everyone’s growth and maturity in Christ. But, I was reminded by this retired man again, that in the world around us, these kinds of people are hard to find. Proverbs 20:6 “… But who can find a faithful man?”
I am so very thankful to those people Jesus put in my life to show me the value of faithfulness and how it will promote you as your prove yourself faithful. They helped me become the leader and man of God I’ve become today! Do you know who they are in your life? There are faithful people around you! You can and should learn from them. They work harder. They learn more. They make sacrifices of faithfulness others don’t. But, they also have learned secrets of success that will bless them for life. Learn from God and them so you can be called one of the faithful! Proverbs 20:6 “… But who can find a faithful man?”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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