Faith Baptist Church of State College, Pennsylvania

What Do Others Think of You?

What do others think of you? I don’t ask this question to have you be introspective nor to have you become consumed with trying to please others; no, not at all. Rather, I ask this question in terms of what others see of your character in the Lord Jesus.

While reading in the book of Colossians for my morning devotions, I’ve been impressed with a little-known Bible character, Epaphras. In verse seven of chapter one, Paul describes him as “our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf.” The two-word phrase “faithful servant” has captivated my attention.
All of us “in Adam” and “in the flesh” enjoy being served. We enjoy having others serve us. In fact, much of our current economy is labeled a “service industry.” Relating well to being consumers, we demand others (even God!) to meet our “needs” in accord with our timetable. We enjoy being in control. The temptation, “...and you will be like God...” (Gen. 3:5) is a seductive siren call even today.

But, dear friends, this is our “old life” which is death and destruction. In Christ we walk in newness of life, enabling us to walk by the Spirit and, thus, serve the Lord and others. In Christ, while walking by the Spirit, we learn to delight in the Lord’s control (i.e. His Lordship). We learn to rejoice in His will, not our will. We learn to joyfully serve Him and others. We learn to delight in pleasing our Father (Col. 1:10) as we meet the needs of others (Phil. 2:3, 4). We learn to meet the needs of others trusting the Lord to meet our needs in His perfect time and way.

Yet, there’s more about Epaphras. Paul not only described him by the word “servant” but, also, by the word “faithful.” He is described as a faithful servant. He was a man of his word, a man upon whom others could count. He was there in the good as well as the bad times, the proverbial “thick and thin.” He was there in the trenches preaching (Col. 1:6, 7), as well as praying (Col. 4:12). He was a faithful servant.

How about you and me? Is our serving long-lasting or ephemeral? Do we serve in the difficult, as well as, in the easy times? Do we serve when counted upon and even when not? How about when we are under-appreciated (even criticized), will we continue to serve? Will we serve those who wrong us? Will we serve when not getting our way? Will we serve when we “feel” that we are on the “outside looking in?” Are we there when others bail out for many of the oft-repeated reasons that sound so reasonable to us in “the flesh?”

We live in a time where much is made of appearance. We like the “flashy servant.” We live in a time where much is made of performance. We like the “effective servant.” But God’s economy is not the same; He is looking for the “faithful servant.” Through such men and women He will build that which lasts for eternity- the Bride and Body of Jesus Christ. He will reward such brethren with the much-to-be-desired declaration, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Mt. 25:21). Such men He will honor, as John 12:26 states, “If any one serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there will my servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Drew