Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cleaning house: should we be perfect or faithful?

We were talking in church today about preparing ourselves to be worthy to stand before the Lord either at His coming or when we leave this life. One woman made an interesting observation.

“It’s like when friends show up at your house unannounced and the house is a mess. If I’ve been watching a movie, I feel guilty and embarrassed but, if I have been running around working to take care of other needs for my family or my friends then, if the house is a mess, I will have an entirely different feeling. I may not like the messy house. I may feel embarrassed about them seeing the mess. I may wish things were different but I won’t feel guilty. I won’t feel like I am a failure because I will know I was busy working hard at other things that needed my attention.”

She likened that to meeting the Savior. She said when we face Him in the next life, if our spiritual house is messy because we’ve been lounging around watching movies, so to speak, and spending our time in leisure, worldly pursuits, we will feel guilty.

But, if we’ve been running around serving others, fulfill our callings, and trying to do good things to the best of our ability then when those messes are seen by Him we may feel embarrassed. We may wish things were different but we won’t feel guilty. We will know we were working hard throughout our day.

I liked that analogy. We don’t have the time or ability to solve every problem in this life and clean up every messy spot in our personal world. We will all die imperfect in some areas but those who have dedicated their lives to working as hard as they can at the things the Lord has asked them to do will know their time of labor was well spent.

In the parable of the Kingdom of Heaven, Christ never claimed the Lord said, well done thou good and perfect servant.

Instead, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:21)

He is not asking us to be perfect servants. He just wants us to be faithful ones, to do our best, and not waste our time--so we won't feel guilty when we face Him. Best of all, if we try our best to be faithful, I know the Lord is the kind of friend who will say, ‘you’ve been so busy doing other things, let me help you with the rest.’

That is the kind of Savior I know and love.

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