This is the final post of the six sections of "The Common Task", in F.B. Meyer's Light
on Life's Duties.
(6) – Our Behavior in Little Things is the Truest Test of What We Are
If I were eager to secure a good employee for a responsible position, I should not attach much importance to the way in which the candidate acted on a set occasion, when he knew that he was being observed. Of course he would be on his best behavior.
But give me a private window so that I can watch him in his least considered actions–how he behaves at home, how he treats his mother and sisters, how he fulfils the common duties of life. What he is then, he is really.
But if this is man’s way, may it not be God’s?
There are great tasks to be fulfilled in eternity: angels to be judged; cities to be ruled; perhaps worlds to be evangelized. For these, suitable agents will be required:
- those who can rule, because they have served;
- those who can command, because they have obeyed;
- those who can save others, because they have never saved themselves.
Perhaps even now our Heavenly Father is engaged in seeking those among us who can fill these posts. And He is seeking them, not amongst such as are filling high positions in the eyes of men, but in the ranks of such as are treading the trivial round and fulfilling the common task.
From the nearest fixed star the inequalities of our earth, whether of Alp or molehill, are alike insignificant. We need to look at our positions from the standpoint of eternity, and probably we shall be startled at the small differences between the lots of men.
The one thing for us all is to abide in our calling with God, to count ourselves as His fellow-workers, to do what we can in His Grace and for His glory, never excusing ourselves, never condoning failure or misdoing, never content unless, by the help of the Blessed Spirit, we have wrought out His promptings and suggestions to the best of our power, whether in the gold of the extraordinary, or the bronze of the cheaper and more ordinary achievement.
Of course there is no saving merit in what we do.
Salvation is only by simple trust in our Savior, Jesus. But when we are saved it gives new zest to Life to do all for Him, as Lord and Master; and to know that He is well pleased in the right doing of the most trivial duties of the home or daily business.
“For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” (1 Peter ii:20).
May each reader learn this happy art, and go through life offering all to God, as the white-stoled priests in the Temple of old. Indeed, all believers have been made priests unto God; every sphere may be a Holy Temple; and every act done in the name of Jesus may be a spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
This is the final entry of a six-part transcription of "The Common Task", by F.B. Meyer in Light on Life's Duties, 1895, Fleming H. Revell, Co. (available in the public domain on HathiTrust Digital Library).
Lord, as I have read and meditated on Your Word and F.B. Meyer’s wise counsel, I find hope and challenge. Hope, because I see that my heart is truly longing to serve you and I have not even realized how You have been working in my life to see this to fruition. I have overlooked what You have not. And I am challenged by the fact that I have grown weary in well-doing. I have lost my way in the expectations that I perceive (and some that are truly not just perceived), and have forgotten to keep my eyes focused only on You. Not only should I not compare myself with others or other time periods or other circumstances, I am to compare myself solely with Your own Christ-life in me. And You see to that without my striving. Thank you, Lord, for the counsel You have given all of us in Mr. Meyer’s antique, though wholly relevant words. Thank you for answering our prayers for guidance by placing us within the context of the Family of God, for the sweet believing friendships and family to encourage us in Your ways. Where these are missing for many readers at this moment, Lord, provide. You see each one, and You hear their prayer right now. You are the Hope of all the earth. You will provide. In Christ’s holy name, Amen.