Jump Start # 2922
Matthew 10:42 “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.”
The other day as I was driving in to the office, I was listening to the Wall Street Journal podcast. A discussion was focused on how to improve your career while working at home. Away from daily contact with co-workers and bosses, the good one does often goes unnoticed. This was a concern. Different people were interviewed. Tips were offered as to how to project yourself without being over the top. Subtle progress updates to your boss was thought to be one way of getting the recognition for the good that you do.
Interesting thoughts which carries us to our verse today. Here the Lord was letting the disciples know that the good they would do would be recognized. Giving water to a little one, one that may be insignificant and unable to do anything for you, is noticed and rewarded. The good that was done wasn’t much. A cup of cold water, that’s it. Not a case of bottled water. Not digging a well. Not paying the monthly water bill. Just one cup. That’s it. Not much. But good was done. Jesus tells the disciples that even that small act was seen by Heaven.
Now, some thoughts for us:
First, we must drop the business concepts when it comes to our spiritual journey with Christ. The church is not run like a business. Being recognized for the good you do, lacks humility, the spirit of service and it borders on pride. Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, were the words of Jesus. You won’t hear that on the Wall Street business network. Self promoting, whether it’s the yards we mow for others, the rides we give, the material we’ve published, the food we’ve taken, or the weeds we’ve pulled around the church building, loses the good because the attention has shifted to us. We are only the instruments. Don’t promote yourself nor brag about the things you have done.
Second, God knows. That’s what matters. You don’t even need to tell the Lord, He knows. Just keep doing the good that you can. You don’t need to tell others. You don’t need a shout out from the pulpit. The Lord knows. And, when you think about that, there standing is a long, long list from our Bibles of folks who have done so much more than we ever will. Rahab, who risked her own life to hide the spies. Joseph, who went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus so he could bury Him. What courage that took. Noah. Moses. David. Paul. Run through the names in Romans 16. So many have done so much. God knows what you have done.
Third, promoting ourselves will get things scrambled up in our minds and hearts. We can begin to think that we are better than others. Don’t go there, because that is not true. It can also make us think that we are the only one who is doing anything. Elijah went there. He was wrong. And, we will be wrong as well. There are so many things being done that most of us never know about. Cards mailed. Prayers offered. Money given. Food taken. Little deeds and acts of kindness, every single day. We are all in this together and we all need each other. Each of us must do what we can. No one can do it all. Some are better at one thing and others are better at something else. In describing spiritual gifts Paul illustrated that with different body parts. Hands. Eyes. Feet. Nose. Each part has different functions. Each part is necessary. Each part adds value.
Fourth, we preachers must be especially careful of promoting ourselves. We can believe that our value and worth is based upon how many churches want us in meetings or how well known our names are. Be careful. Our value is based in our faith to the Lord. Do your work the best you can. There comes a temptation to come out from behind that Cross and stand in front of it so you can be seen. And, when that happens, the attention is upon you and no longer the Cross. Some have paid a terrible price in becoming famous. Some have sold their soul to the devil, softened the message and pushed themselves more than Jesus Christ. Younger preachers struggle with this. I have been there. Just do your work. Do it well. Put your heart into it and the good you do will be evident to Heaven. The church doesn’t have rock stars. Being a brotherhood name, whatever that means, is fickle, vain and shallow. Don’t go there.
Finally, do all that you can, but don’t overlook the small and the simple things. A cup of cold water is something that even a child could give. Don’t be too important, too busy, too into yourself, that you couldn’t deliver that cup of cold water. That cold water might be an encouraging word. That cold water might be listening to someone. That cold water might be having someone to your home. The big plans, the big projects, the big picture all have a place, but so does a cup of cold water. Be sure that you can do that. Be sure that you can recognize who needs the cold water. Be sure that you can do more than tell others about the need, but that you can do what you can.
Recognizing the good that you are doing…I suppose in the business world that’s necessary to climb that corporate ladder. As one climbs, he’ll find out that it gets lonely at the top and everyone below you wants your spot. Even in the business world, let us remember the value of a cup of cold water.