Mother Theresa once said: “If we are busy to hate people, we do not have time to love people.
I would expand that into this:
If we are busy talking about other people, busy arranging and planning our personal ambitions, busy thinking about ourselves, busy planning our dreams and justifying compromises we take to make them come true, THEN we will have no time to love other people personally, we will have no time to build our community, we will have no time to think of our common interest—for our good —we will have no time to build and realize our vision.
None of us is here now in … (your workplace) by accident. I believe we each have our own story about why we are here. I have my own story. And I believe that you have your own story in which God has led you until you are all here, together. Remember: TOGETHER! I meet Pak This and I will work together with him. I meet Pak That, so I will work together with him. I meet Miss This and Miss That, to work together with them, and so on.
Each of us is here to fulfill God’s purpose for us on this earth: to fulfill His Kingdom on this earth, and on this small earth: … (your workplace). With all the weaknesses of the place where we are now, God is forming our character, shaping our hearts and minds.
Proverbs 27:17 says: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (NIV).
So, according to Proverbs 27:17, we all here to sharpen each other. No matter what!
Sharpening means to make sharper, more mature, be better, finding our best form that we should get, that is sharp. What for? To be able to cut everything that needs to be cut: broken branch and broken leaves so that new branches can grow and bear fruits.
Sharpening does not mean undermining others and/or magnifying ourselves. Sharpening is not criticizing blindly to hurt other people’s feelings deliberately. Sharpening here can indeed be a PROCESS. Which means we will feel uncomfortable, a PROCESS is not a “good” condition. But the ultimate goal is for the common good. One of the PROCESSES is man sharpens man. So, A sharpens B and B sharpens A. Not: A sharpens B, and then after B becomes sharp, B stabs A from behind. This is clearly not the work of God’s disciples. It is the job of the evil one. Be aware of this, guys.
1 Corinthians 13:13 says: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (NIV). Love means character. Three characteristics of a good disciple who has love are having a humble heart, being teachable (not being sarcastic), and being obedient and faithful.
Luke 6:49 says: But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (NIV)
God is our teacher. We all the students (BE HUMBLE). If all heard God’s word (TEACHABLE), but if we do not put God’s Word into practise (FAITHFULNESS), so we are like a man who built a house (this school) on the ground without a foundation.
Sometimes, an admirer only be a mere admirer. He/she does not become someone who he/she admired. For example: I really admire Ahok. He is assertive, true, and brave. But I myself am not like him (meaning his character). A true admirer is supposed to imitate the object of their admiration. So, when I admire Ahok, then I should try to be like him. When I was fourteen, I loved and admired the band The Moffatts. When I loved them, I tried to be like them. So, when I admire Jesus, I should strive to be like Jesus. Clearly, not to be like Jesus who die on the cross to redeem our sins, but to be like Jesus in His character: willing to empty Himself for humanity’s sins. When Jesus emptied himself, he abandoned his prestige, was not concerned with self-interest, and did not feel insulted when people insulted Him because of His righteousness. He, Jesus, remained calm, prayed, and remained righteousness. He focused on doing His part of His mission and it was finished when finally He said in John 19:30 (NIV): It is finished.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
I hope, when at last, we are called by God, we would and could say: Oh, Lord, it is finished. I have completed my task here on earth. I have fulfilled my highest calling.
Friends, wherever God has put us: at work here, in our home, in church, and even on the street, at the mall, and elsewhere, may we live our lives as a blessing wherever we are. Just focus on your part in fulfilling God’s promises. Stop focusing on personal ambition. Stop justifying anything and everything to get higher positions; stop trying so hard to collect treasures and money (Mamon), fame, honor and adulation from humankind, all of which are just temporary. Let’s start focusing on God’s glory and righteousness.
Mother Theresa once said: “If we are busy to hate people, we do not have time to love people. I conclude and close this morning devotion with this: If we are busy loving ourselves, we will have no time to love our God, Jesus Christ!
*Editor: Joshua Frear