The Sticky Problem Of Duty

There is one thing more you must do

Mark 10:21
Mark 10:17-30 or 10:17-27

Sermon Topic


The American College Dictionary lists nine alternate definitions of the word “duty” covering a wide range of meanings. “Duty,” we learn, is “that which one is bound to do by moral or legal obligation.” “Duty” is also “a levy imposed on the import or export of goods.” And in agricultural language, “duty” is “the amount of water necessary to provide for the crop in a given area.” Nine definitions, it would seem, should be enough for a little four-letter word like “duty.” But we don’t have to be language experts to realize how easy it is to invest still other meanings not found in any dictionary.

Perhaps we ourselves can recall situations in which it seemed convenient to define “duty” as “that which we expect from others.” Perhaps we can recall a circumstance when we used the word “duty” to cover the shame of a bit of wrongdoing. And, sad to note, we all are keenly conscious of innumerable cases of people equating “duty”…

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