13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
How often might we fall into this trap of claiming that we are disciples of the Lord but being a stranger to him? We are engaging in the sin of hypocrisy when we do so. We claim to be of Christ and yet our hearts and thoughts are really far from him.
We hurt ourselves through such hypocrisy as we lose out on opportunities to serve and to be transformed spiritually. But perhaps as significantly, we hurt those we care about. Because they can sense or deception and duplicity. They will know if we do not truly practice what we preach. We will shatter faith and wound those we hold most dear if we claim to serve the master but forget him in our day to day conduct.
This tendency is present in every one of us. It’s another manifestation of what King Benjamin described as the natural man.
Fortunately, Benjamin described a solution. Fitting his focus on service, he emphasizes that we must “be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works.” Our good deeds when done with proper faith in Christ help us remain grounded in the Gospel. For as we serve our fellowman, we are also in the service of our God.
It’s interesting to see the different emphasis that Benjamin puts on enduring to the end when compared with Nephi. Nephi is more concerned with making covenants, feasting on the word of God, and hearkening to the spirit. Benjamin focuses much more on service and Christian discipleship in practice. Both are true and essential.