Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:1–2—NKJV

Much in our society finds its protection in the fine print. There is a surface level of commitment to excellence and quality but hidden somewhere is a long list of provisos and caveats which robs our basic agreements of simplicity and durability. We tend to unthinkingly apply the same loopholes to our spiritual acts of service.

Paul contradicts this notion. The simplicity of the New Testament model of commitment is seen in Jesus Christ as The Servant-Leader. Servant-leadership is to be modeled by church leaders and to be emulated by church members. This concept of leadership is what Paul is teaching in the early chapters of 1 Corinthians. Servant-leaders and servant-followers are building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and building for His glory. This concept of servant-unity is the background for the verses we are considering. You will notice that there is no fine print.

Paul speaks for all true believers when he states that he wants to be known as a servant of Christ and a steward of God. As a servant he was an “under-rower”, ranking lower than a seaman and on the lowest level of the ship, he was a subordinate taking his directions from another. The believer is to reckon himself (and strive for others to reckon him) as acting only on the orders of Christ. As a steward he styles himself a manager of a household or an estate illustrating the fact that he was responsible for his management of the dispensing and displaying of God’s truth throughout his life.

Neither of these terms fixates on rights or station, but rather on obligation and accountability. They both illustrate the universal attitude and high level of obedience characteristic of all genuine believers. It can be seen as nothing short of the highest quality of humility and spiritual motivation.

Lest we yield to our fleshly humanity and seek for provisos and caveats Paul follows verse one with verse two. He reminds us that it is a requirement of stewards to be found faithful. The requirement is literally a demand, something that will be looked into, it shall be required that a steward be faithful all along the term of his stewardship.

Paul also states that a steward is to “be found” faithful. We all are familiar with the exclamation “Eureka, I found it!” The Greek word is used here meaning to “find out by inquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation, i.e. to see, learn, discover. The believer’s stewardship is to be examined and found out by inquiry. His stewardship is to be performed with an eye to the fact that God will examine and pass judgment upon his stewardship and can do so at any point. His intent is to be found out to be faithful after a careful inquiry by God.

The believer’s level of commitment runs deep; there is nothing shallow about it. There are no hidden clauses, no escape options. Faithfulness in the service of stewardship to Christ is all that matters.

What is the level of your commitment to your call by Christ? Can you identify what you allow to distract you from displaying your servant’s heart? What comfortable excuses do you often employ to get out of your obligations to Christ? Forsake the excuses. Trust and obey.