12 Vital Principles of a Worthy Servant: Training Children in Good Work Habits for Home, the Workplace, & Life
If you are a parent, or have ever been a child (yes, that's everyone), then you know that when training a child, it's not as much about what you say, it's about what you do.
The following principles are to help you become responsible, efficient, diligent, and trustworthy, thus helping you to be successful in every arena of life. Learn this and you will bless your children with the same.
- Be punctual. Do not delay your work assignment. When given an assignment, the servant is responsible for following through on that assignment either at the time designated, or the first available opportunity. When you delay, you may find yourself being distracted later and then say, “I couldn’t perform the command, for it rained.” I will answer you, “You were not diligent when the job could have been done, before the rain.” A task is to be completed ON TIME, unless acceptable circumstances obstruct. If you are told to be home in an hour, do not come home in an hour and one minute. If you are told to do this by Thursday, don’t do it on Friday. Every morning does not mean in the afternoon.
- Never say, I forgot. You may more accurately say, Your command was not important enough to remember. In life, forgetting duties is always irresponsible. Should you have a problem remembering, write yourself a note.
- Follow Instructions. Perform the assignment according to directions. Listen closely to each instruction and detail as it is given. Ask questions if in doubt, for the job is not to be done according to your way, but according to the will of the one who assigned the task. Again, if in doubt, ask questions.
- Overcome obstacles. Do your best to solve problems that hinder completion of the command. If a tool breaks, fix it if you can. If another need calls for your attention, return as soon as possible to finish the job. If the paint depletes—find, borrow, or buy more. Try diligently to resolve problems—not weak, half-hearted attempts. You will learn the most when you apply ingenuity and determination to overcome a difficulty. Don’t quit a task before completion because of a legitimate obstacle without reporting to your authority for clearance. Perhaps your authority may be able to help you find more time to assist you in finishing the task.
- Finish the job. A chore is not completed until every last detail of the job is done. If cleaning dishes, clean out the sink before you quit. If fixing something, put away all the tools where and how they belong. Never do a chore 99%, but 100%.
- Don’t neglect regular duties. Certain responsibilities are set into perpetual motion, and need not to be re-assigned. When I say, Keep you room clean, I will also say, This is for all times, forever, never to change. Or I will say, Don’t EVER let your possessions lay around the house after you are finished using them. For it is not the duty of your mother or father to pick up after you. Don’t think that because a regular responsibility is not checked upon or inspected that you have been freed from that responsibility, such as, keep your dresser drawers neat at all times.
- Do a good job. A task is not acceptably completed unless it is performed well. Synonyms for well are neat, clean, good, best, thorough, exact, wholehearted, excellent, proper. Silly excuses for poor work will be disregarded.
- Take Ownership. Do a job, chore, or project the way you would want it done if somebody else were doing it for you. Ephesians 6:5-8 defines the true heart of ownership, and of a Godly servant: “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.”
- Be brisk. The diligent man does in one hour what a sloth does in four. Overview your work at the beginning and organize it to be executed in the most efficient way possible. Don’t take unnecessary breaks or be flippantly distracted.
- Chip in and help. Whenever work is being done by others, lend a helping hand, when appropriate. Servant-hearted people take opportunities to serve.
- Never cheat on a chore. Loopholes are for lawyers, not servant-hearted. Do each assignment according to the heart of your authority, and not according to the technicality of the words. Examples: Did you feed the dog? Yes! (yesterday!) Did you turn the TV set off when we left? Yes! (I turned it off, and then right back on!)
- Be a worthy servant. Jesus said, in Luke 10:17, “So likewise you, when you have done everything that was commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servant—we have done that which was our duty to do.” A worthy servant is twofold, doing more than what was instructed, and going the extra mile to labor where not asked or required. Do not expect extra privileges for obedience, but earn privileges by being a worthy servant.
Looking at these principles and trying to apply them all at once can be overwhelming to a child. But they CAN do it! And the best place to start is by setting the example. Don’t just read them this list. Show them by your example.
So out of the 12 principles, which ones do you already feel you excel in, and which ones do you need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you in? I look forward to hearing your comments below!
So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say,
“We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.”