From Whining to Winning

Written By EDEW, Philippines

Growing up in a traditional family in the Philippines, I, being the youngest, bore the duty of running errands for the family. These usually involved purchasing spices, sauces, cigarettes or worse, sanitary napkins for my sisters from convenience stores. Having to do these things,  especially during my leisure time, was frustrating, and I found myself whining a fair bit.

In my simple mind, this was a form of injustice and abuse of power by those older than me. In my heart, I would silently protest, “Why is it always me?” “Is it because I am the youngest?”

As I grew up, I carried on that bad habit of grumbling about being assigned simple duties to my work in the teaching profession. I preferred tasks that were easier and which I could do easily and at my own convenience. Once, I was asked to conduct research about school enrolment and drop-outs. I had to singlehandedly design the survey, disseminate the questionnaires, and interpret the data. Although I whined and complained, it turned out to be a significant step: It was necessary for the formulation of policies that would impact the administration and academia.

Looking back on those events, I am amazed by how God’s faithful servants worked. They carried out their assigned tasks obediently without questioning His divine purpose, knowing that they were serving the interests of the people. There was Moses, who led Israel to freedom from slavery; David, who fought against Goliath; and God’s own son, Jesus who died on the cross to save humanity from condemnation. Even now, there are thousands of faithful servants being persecuted for preaching the gospel. Despite their situations, these people did not grumble. And as a result, through their actions and lives, generations have been influenced and encouraged to serve God.

As I reflect on my own life, I’ve come to see all of us as actors on a stage, each being assigned a role to perform. We should view our roles in the light of the ultimate task, which is the salvation of souls.

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

—Colossians 3:22-24.

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