One of my Facebook friends posted yesterday a quote that makes a point it is easy for us to lose sight of…and that causes us much anguish when we do.
The quote, by Anthony Hanson (in The Church of the Servant), is this:
In the last analysis, the service the Christian does is not his, but Christ’s. Therefore he must not feel too keenly the burden of responsibility, because at the end of the day all he can say is, “We are unprofitable servants.” This knowledge, far from inhibiting action, actually releases the Christian from that appalling feeling of responsibility that has driven so many high-minded humanists to despair, even to suicide… Work done conscientiously by the Christian is his share in Christ’s service; but it is Christ’s service, and therefore the Christian need neither be proud because it has succeeded or overwhelmed because it has failed. The service of Christ is supremely expressed in the apparent failure of the Cross.
The crucial line for me is that when we remember it is Christ’s service we are about, not our own, then we know we ought not be proud when we succeed nor overwhelmed when we fail. Our task is to stay faithful to our discipleship – to do the task to which we have been appointed – to the best of our ability. What results from our effort is in God’s hands, not ours.