Monday, February 28

Approved and Accepted

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'--Matthew 25:21

A few months ago I submitted a document to the Air&Waste Management Association for their upcoming annual international conference. For the last month I have been on pins and needles waiting to hear if the Association decided to include it in their program for the conference. Last Friday I found out that my hard work paid off and that my paper was accepted!

It is very gratifying when the things I take seriously are accepted and approved. This is true not only of my scientific and professional pursuits, but my personal and spiritual ones as well. Maybe it's part of my '"first-born" mentality, but I thrive on positive feedback. That is why today's verse strikes a very strong chord with me. To me, living my life in a manner that is pleasing to God is not something I think I should do, but rather, it is something I feel I must do. I feel very compelled to live in such a way that at the end of my life, I will be welcomed into heaven with the words "well done good and faithful servant."

I know that no matter how good I try to be, I will always be living in a fallen state. I am human afterall, and my natural state is one of sinfulness. Over my lifetime I will make countless mistakes. I know I will never be perfect, but fortunately, getting into heaven has nothing to do with my actions. It has everything to do with faith, and believing that Christ died for me.

Living my life as a good and faithful servant does not mean that I need to accumulate a certain number of hours of community service, or that I need to make sure I give to enough charities. Being faithful does not mean I need to memorize the Bible. As a good and faithful servant, I need to apply the things that God teaches me from the Bible in order to live in a manner that is acceptable in his sight. This means that I need to work hard to do my best to emulate Christ in all aspects of my life.

This is something I take rather seriously, not out of selfish ambition, or because of my personality type, but because I know that this is what God wants and deserves from me. Far more gratifying than having a silly scientific paper be accepted by a bunch of air quality professionals, will be the knowledge that I am accepted and approved by God.

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