Both For Failure and Success

anecdotal stories

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. – Deuteronomy 28:1-6.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. – Ephesians 6:5-8.

Bargain – Mutual

In All’s Well That Ends Well, the king agrees to try Helena’s remedy but demands her death if her cure kills him. She agrees. “If I break time, or flinch in property (delay beyond the appointed time or fall short in performance) of what I spoke, unpitied let me die. And well deserv’d. Not helping, death’s my fee.” What will the king give her if she succeeds? “What do you want?” he asks. “A husband,” she replies. Not from royalty, for her humble position would not allow that. “But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.”

Sounds like good management-employee relations. If employees cannot deliver, they should be fired. If they can and do, they should be rewarded. The late business guru, W. Edward Deming, suggested a principle to produce both: stress excellence in quality control during manufacturing, not inspection of inferior products after manufacturing.

God always excels human standards. He offers mercy to the frailties of his servants, forgiving their misdeeds, then provides them magnificent and all-out-of-proportion rewards when they succeed. Not only do we not die for our sins (as Helena would have for her mistakes), but we live at an exalted level far beyond our station, in a life we could never deserve, in a place we could never merit. Why would anyone refuse to labor for such a master, in such a kingdom?

food for thought footer 2

Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley © 1995 by Word, Incorporated.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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