Justin Hiebert

Catalyzing Change

Rewarding Faithfulness

Posted on 14 Oct 2013 in Christianity, Discipleship | Comments Off on Rewarding Faithfulness

winding road

(Photo credit: infraredhorsebite)

In my own journey and story lately, I’ve been working through what it means to be faithful.

There are times when God undoubtedly speaks and calls us in our lives. One of those times was coming to pastor our current church. Through conversations with people, discernment groups, and our week spent candidating here, we knew that God was calling us to Denver. Convinced of that we packed up all of our belongings and moved cross country. That clarity and calling has sustained us in difficult moments. Those moments when we wish we were closer to family or those time we knew we were missing significant events in the lives of our friends and former life in California. Above all, we knew that God wanted us here in Denver and we were glad to have that peace of mind.

But there are also those moments where calling, direction, and purpose are much harder to find. The quiet moments where we beg for a word from God but hear silence.

People face these sorts of situations in the small and big moments of life alike.

  • Deciding what college to attend
  • Contemplating that job promotion which means better pay but longer hours
  • The travel and time off required to go visit a sick friend or neighbor
  • Discerning when to give up our own preferences for the sake of someone else

Recently, my wife and I faced a similar decision on some issues in our community. We were struggling to know where God was, where he was leading, and how we should respond. After weeks of struggling and searching, we received some clarity and peace of mind on what to do.

Then I subtly began to assume things, that I think we all can if we aren’t careful.

Since I knew what God wanted, and I was committed to doing it, I began to expect my ‘reward’ from God.

My conversation with God went something like this:

“Okay God, I was faithful, where’s my reward?”

I’m glad you were faithful Justin.

“Yeah, yeah. Me too. So since I did what you asked, don’t I get something?”

I’m glad you were faithful Justin.

Yeah, so am I. Really glad I made that choice. My reward for doing so is…….”

I’m glad you were faithful Justin.

———-

My wife made the analogy similar to potty training. At first, going potty in the toilet prompts a reward (we gave away suckers or M&M’s). But eventually, you just go in the toilet because that’s what big people do. No reward necessary (or even expected), it’s just done.

How weird would it be for me to expect (and ask) for a reward every time I went to the bathroom?

“Hey Elise! I just pooped! Can I have a cookie?”

Gross. Awkward. Weird.

———-

In reality, that’s what many of us do with God. We gain clarity and direction on what needs to be done and then do it and expect some sort of reward. At first, and maybe in special circumstances, God rewards us. Faith, and especially faith in action, aren’t always easy. But part of the maturity process is being faithful for faithfulness’ sake. Part of maturity in discipleship is doing what God asks, not for a reward, but because we delight in doing the will of God.

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Justin Hiebert

Leadership Catalyst - Entrepreneur - Coach at JSHiebert Leadership Coaching
I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture. In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society. I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith. I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary. I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.

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