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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #32 --- Duty

Updated on March 8, 2011

Quotations on Duty

The basis of all privilege, duty and responsibility is found in and is determined by the relationships of life. Where there is no relationship, there is no duty, no responsibility, no privilege. Relationship determines duty; the kind of relationship determines the kind of duty. The moment a relationship is established, duty makes its demands. Life does not consist of a sentiment and emotion, but an obligation and privilege, and both depend upon the relationships that have been established.

—Charles M. Beckwith, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Feb. 8, 1926.

Duty well performed is the best medicine on earth to ease one's conscience. ... Faith and duty go hand in hand. Faith pushes us out to perform our duty, and duty well performed is the proof of our faith.

—W.L. Karnes, The Gospel Herald, Cordell, Okla., Dec. 23, 1915.

Do you make your duties privileges, or do you draw a sharp distinction between the two, which should not necessarily involve a difference? In the daily humdrum routine of life the successful man or woman is the one that envelopes duty in the halo of privilege and forges ahead in the performance of his tasks, spurred on by the realization that duty done to the best of one's light and ability becomes a privilege.

—A.G. Alexander, The Normal Herald, Natchitoches, La., March 1921.

Duties are not limited by don't.

—Albert R. Bond, Baptist and Reflector, Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 16, 1919.

Great lives are not accidents, nor are they reached by a few spasmodic leaps, nor are they attained by one or two superhuman efforts. A great life has its source in a clear conception of duty. It progresses upward as duty is faithfully done. It reaches its culmination in character developed in the performance of duty.

—C.W. Carter, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., June 20, 1898.

The highest duty is never contrary to the truest happiness. We cannot conceive of happiness secured at the expense of duty nor glory at the cost of honor. The firm basis for tomorrow’s good lies in the doing of the duty of today. To be true to duty eventually leads out of trouble.

—John Edward Carver, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, June 15, 1942.

The fundamental idea of duty is the recognition of something to be lived for beyond the mere satisfaction of self. That something to be lived for is always at hand. In every moment of life there is a duty to be performed. The abiding sense of duty is the basic principle of all true character. It is the one thing which, more than all else, holds a man up in the performance of noble and lofty deeds.

—J.B. Hawthorne, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., April 6, 1896.

What is duty? Duty is the will of God, clearly manifested when the hour for a certain action presents itself.

—Henrietta Heron, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 9, 1938.

It is always so easy to dismiss a duty with the expectation of a miracle.

—Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 4, 1943.

We do our duty at times for simply duty’s sake; but that is only when the sunshine of love is eclipsed for a moment in the shadow of a cloud. Duty and love are forces to action. Duty is mechanical; love springs from the depths of the heart. Duty is sometimes drudgery, but permeate it with love, and it becomes a pleasure. Duty is the machine–love is the oil that makes it do its work smoothly and well. Duty is sometimes the first force to action, but the action will not be sustained unless love soon comes with re-enforcement. The highest form of action is the result of love. Duty sometimes forces; love always leads.

—Nephi Anderson, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Dec. 8, 1904.

Many Christian people drift into the habit of making free and extravagant use of the expression, "I have done my duty" or "I feel that my duty is done," without considering the teaching of the Bible on the measure of duty with what they should do. The scripture very clearly and definitely teaches that duty is measured by ability. This is taught not only in the parable of the talents but in many other places. In light of this teaching, a Christian's duty is not done until ability is exhausted. As long as we have ability financially, intellectually, spiritually or physically, duty is incomplete. It should always be decided on the basis of ability and our relation to God. ... The Lord expects our best and we cannot truthfully say that duty is done until we give our best.

—J.W. Bruner, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, July 8, 1943.

Devotion to duty. ... Often we are thrown into positions of trust. We may neglect our work, we may injure our employer and it may never be known, but that is not the question. This is the point to be considered: Does my duty to myself allow me to do this? We are losers every time. Duty to God, duty backed by courage can overcome a multitude of obstacles. The grand moving power which impelled those men whose lives cause our very senses to thrill with admiration, may be embraced in one word--Duty. There is no excuse which will exempt a man from duty. No reason why every man should not do the work which God has laid out for him in this life.

—J.E. McClurkin, Childress Index, Childress, Texas, May 24, 1916.

Shirking duty is common enough, but shrinking is a lot more widely practiced and more harmful. A shirker is not as bad as a shrinker. A shirker at least knows how big the job is that he's sidestepping; but the shrinker makes a big job little, and he gets what is coming to him because there is nothing left when he gets through with his shrinking but dull drudgery, something that ill befits him.

—J. Benjamin Lawrence, Southern Baptist Home Missions, Atlanta, Ga., January 1939.

Man should be the master of his duty, not the slave.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Oct. 17, 1927.

Faithfulness to duty is the crowning glory of all human existence.

—George W. Truett, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 8, 1901.

The duty we owe our fellowman calls for more than attendance at his funeral.

—Jack Warwick, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 5, 1935.

Duty can be defined as an obligation to fit conduct to reason--to do what we know we should do, and to refrain from doing what we know we should not. It is a selective act. It implies that more than one course of action is possible, but that not all possible courses of action are right. ... Duty implies choice not only in the sense that it demands an assortment of things to choose from, but also in the sense that it involves the ability to make up one's mind. It excludes the situation described in the fable about the beast, which died of starvation between two stacks of hay because both were equally inviting and he could not decide which one to eat. There could be no such thing as duty if a man could not choose the less attractive of two courses.

—Alfred Duffy, The Catholic Tribune, St. Joseph, Mo., Aug. 1, 1936.

Duty goes deeper than surface actions. ... Genuine duty involves the final and complete fulfillment of service that affords maximum success in what we do. In short, duty means giving it "everything we have" without reservation.

—Cecil Williams, Baptist Hospital Echo, Alexandria, La., January 1961.

The word duty was originally spelled duety, meaning "what is due on account." But there must be added to this important fact of life another equally important Christian grace, humility. Add humility to duty and we have a beautiful Christian couplet that makes us akin to angels in service rendered.

—C.C. Young, Baptist Message, Shreveport, La., May 9, 1929.

Duty done is life’s noblest expression. Faithfulness in small things is the basis of everything grand and noble. Simple duty is the nearest one. How can I do my simple duty? It must come from the force of internal love. A man should love his duty, otherwise he is a slave. Our actions are worth nothing in life compared with the spirit that prompts and penetrates man.

—J.J. Wicker, Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Feb. 3, 1938.

Knowledge of duty is the measure of responsibility.

—DeWitt McMurray, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 9, 1922.

Duty suggests obligation; obligation contemplated calls for courage; courage measures and weighs difficulties. And these latter sometimes magnify themselves into high proportions--sufficient to deter from action, and at every step painful sensations arise, more especially if the demands of duty are not discharged. ... Duty does not imply the performance of a task, by any means, but the obligation upon us to meet and perform it. Every word has, if not an exact synonym, yet other words of close relationship; for instance, duty is a task, a debt, a service. These words have their appropriate adjectives, each telling us when to use the one or the other. Tasks are burdensome, debts should be paid, service must be performed. Duty must be discharged. And as this world is full of failures, many duties go undischarged, tasks unperformed and debts unpaid. When legal and moral obligations--duties--come before us and are characterized by words beginning with the English prefix un, a feeling of despair overwhelms and alas, a bit of frenzy maddens--or a suicide follows. Fidelity stands in contrast with infidelity and is as far removed from it as the east from the west. Fidelity accepts trusts, meets and complies with every obligation--then smiles in triumph and tranquil satisfaction upon the beneficiaries of its trust. Fidelity has its associates--faithfulness, loyalty, constancy, honesty, integrity, justice, sincerity--all of which are happifying and beautifying. ... Fidelity is a grace; infidelity is a disgrace. Fidelity is always good. Paul directs Titus to exhort servants to show all good fidelity and thereby adorn the doctrine of God. Fidelity is the dress in which God's doctrines are adorned.

—J.G. McCall, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 11, 1898.

Duty is divine in its source. It is the "stern daughter of the voice of God." The sense of duty is the voice of God echoing in every human soul. We cannot escape it any more than we can escape God. ... Duty is the voice of God ringing in the soul. ... Duty is divine in that it gives us a motive that is dominant over every other motive. It is nobler than love and mightier than self-interest. ... There is nothing diviner than the doing of duty. There is no nobler thing that we can say than this: "We have done that which was our duty to do." ... Duty is divine in its results. The way of duty is the way of vision into the truth. ... The way of duty is the way of peace and good conscience. ... In doing our duty, which is nothing but the will of God for us, we find rest and peace. ... The way of duty is the way to greatness. It is indeed a great thing to be great. But never does true greatness come to the man who says, "Go to, I'll be great." Real greatness knocks only at the door of those who are devoting themselves to duty.

—Henry Alford Porter, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 7, 1920.

Every person has a duty to give pleasure to others. If he fulfills this responsibility, he will soon discover that the most pleasure he gives to others, the more pleasure he, himself, receives.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Oct. 27, 1947.

There is an intense feeling and sense of secret joy to the human heart, emanating from the inmost soul, upon the faithful discharge of our daily duties. When toil has wearied out minds and our bodies; and we would fain rest us of our wearied existence; the very thought, that we are in the service of our God, that we are living in the faithful performance and discharge of our duties, and are not throwing away our existence, but are completing and fulfilling the measure of therefore in the accordance with the desire of our being, and of our Maker, who is God, inspires us with a thrill of joy and emotions of uttermost delight, we renew our exertions, redouble our efforts, and eradicate from our bosoms every vestige of disposition to repine, lament, or complain.

—Daniel H. Wells, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 21, 1852.


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