James 1:25 says, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

Recently, I read an article from Forbes Magazine that was very interesting. Early in his career as a U.S. Navy pilot, he received an unexpected privilege–the chance to fly a $100 million, state-of-the-art airplane and lead a 12-person crew. As a brand new lieutenant, he was surprised but delighted by the opportunity. What had he done to deserve it?

“It’s because you’re an owner, not a renter,” his hard-charging commanding officer said. Every organization, even the U.S. Navy, had both types, he explained. Owners accept full responsibility even when it is not formally assigned, believe deeply in their mission, collaborate with others, take initiative and hold co-workers accountable to the same high standards. Renters, meanwhile, approach their work with an “it’s just a job” mentality, tend to make statements like “that’s not my problem” and point the finger at others when things go wrong. “Stack the deck with owners!” my commanding officer proclaimed. And also work hard, he cautioned, at remaining an owner. It was a label we needed to earn every day. 

There is a valuable lesson here for the Christian. The Lord deserves our best wherever we serve. Sadly, some folks take more initiative with their hobbies and jobs than they do for the Lord. May we each give God our best. Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

If the Lord has entrusted me with responsibilities in His church, then it is worthy of my best. Be an owner of your calling and your opportunities. Give your best whether it is teaching a Sunday school class, caring for babies, or working as a parking lot attendant. Let’s do it “heartily as unto the Lord.”