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May 08, 2012

one-hit wonders and the Christian life

It is easy to be a "one-hit wonder" in the Christian life. Or just in everyday life.

Christian circles offer many opportunities to serve, some of them fairly public. But sometimes I need to ask myself: What would I still do in Jesus' name, if never noticed, thanked, or applauded? I reflect on this: if I don't get thanked, do I stop giving of my time, effort or money? Do I seek out the tasks that are in the public eye over the thankless ones, for attention? I need to search my soul for this kind of spiritual pride and self-seeking often. God points it out in me more often than not.

I can teach at camp for a week or a weekend and receive praise for my service. But will I teach Biblical wisdom to the children in my life year after year? I can volunteer my abilities for a short-term task or project, but will I keep doing those background tasks which people don't notice (except when I miss a step or make an error—then they notice!)? Inviting company over and showing them a polished house and a hearty meal is little trouble in the long term. How much more work it is for a woman to consistently establish a home where order and health are promoted.

In the past year, I have been both a manager and an employee, and a landlord and a tenant. As a result, I have come to a new appreciation for reliability and dependability as essential traits of anyone we desire to relate with in a personal or professional sphere. In our permissive Western culture, people can find an excuse to leave behind nearly any relationship, commitment or contract. Sure, they can pull off one big show. They can even look cute while doing it. But when the smoke machines are turned off and the stage is cleared, the dependable people are the ones who are there cleaning up after the act. The one-hit wonder is pulling out of the parking lot before the confetti is swept up. Because one-hit wonders don't show faithfulness.

Why is faithfulness important? Because it reflects the rock-solid, consistent, unchanging Creator who made us to reflect His image. Psalm 33:4 says that "he is faithful in all he does." Can that be said of us?

If you were to follow the past seven years of my blogging (off and on), my writing probably reflects how, as I've grown up, life has become less and less about one-time deals and more about the daily battles, the daily joys, the daily tasks. Because for most of us, life is about 98% daily routine and 2% one-time gigs.

This post, like the topic itself, is nothing mind-blowing. You say, "Yes, I know this already." I say, "Yes, you should." It is just basic godly living. But the battle for our allegiance is fought in the 98% of our lives that is routine. It's all-out war. So, we could all use a reminder. Even if it's just a one-time thing.

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