Summary: Are you Mikey Mediocre or Marvin Marvelous? Both are needed in the Kingdom, but both are unprofitable servants.
Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Sometimes people will look at the various things I do and thank me. Some a bit too profusely and that can get embarrassing. Some are very easily impressed and others are never impressed. Fortunately, though I appreciate praise like any other human, I do not let the lack of it keep me from doing what I can do. Indeed, some places I have been I would have had to spin straw into gold or reverse time to make people young again to get any praise. Even then it might be mixed with criticism as I may not have been only able to spin 18 caret gold instead of 24 carat and though I gave them back their 18 year old body I may not have been able to do plastic surgery to correct what they did not like about their young body. Some crowds are very tough. Still, I tried to do the best job I could do.
I had a manager at K-Mart where I worked right after college remark that he did not understand why I worked so hard compared to others. I replied that if I only worked for K-Mart for the minimum wage I received I might also give minimum labor. However, my real employer was God and I work for Him first and K-Mart benefits.
While I have had a diverse career in both secular and church arenas, I have not risen to greatness in anything. I guess you could call me Mikey Mediocre. My name will not be emblazoned on buildings or have an encyclopedia article. Songs will not be written about me and it is unlikely I will be on Larry King's show or Good Morning America or even the Late, Late, Late, Late Show. My tombstone will not stand out in the VA cemetery. Some say I am a good singer, but I will not be performing in Nashville or Branson. I love preaching and teaching, but you will not see me on TV or in front of thousands because I am not that great of a preacher or teacher nor do I have the bodily presence or charisma many of them have. I am just a straight leg trench trooper.
Yet, somewhere along the line, I may have blessed a few lives and maybe got them through a bad spot or two, but then again there have been periods in my life where I may not have helped people, but hindered or hurt them. There may be more of those folks than the ones I helped. Only God knows the numbers. Yet, even if I helped a hundred times more people than I hurt I am still an unprofitable servant.
I am glad that I served my country in the military and federal service, but then it was my duty to do that so I have nothing to be super proud about and swell my chest. If I ever did get to preach before thousands, it would be my duty as a Christian to do so, if God willed it.
Indeed, if I could fill sixteen hours a day, seven days a week in doing something or things that glorify God be it in some church ministry or community service it would still only be my duty to do so. Indeed, there really is no such thing as above and beyond the call of duty when serving the Lord. If there was much fruit from it, it would all be the work of God in my life, not me, that brought it about so where should the thanks and glory go? God!
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
I did not understand it when I was first saved that I was now bought by God to serve Him for His glory. I just knew my life was changed and I was loved so I lived my life for Him. I witnessed every chance I got. Things were changing and habits died. I could not help myself. I was driven by love and gratitude. It was my duty to do so and I did not even understand that it was my duty because I was glad to serve.