As I read day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Biblical Meaning Of Success” I came to a deeper understanding of what God wants me to know & do.
Check it out here:
Lies about Success
The most overlooked part of the parable of the talents is the second half of verse fifteen: the master gives talents to each servant, “…each according to his ability.” The master understood that the one-talent servant was not capable of producing as much as the five-talent servant.
We want to protest this as unfair. Yet we know this is true from our own experience. Diversity is woven into the fabric of creation.
However, culture tells us two great lies about success: you can be whatever you want to be, and you can be the best in the world. These lies are based on the premise that we all are created equal. While we are all certainly equal under the law, equal in God’s eyes, and equal in many other areas, we are not created equal where our abilities are concerned.
Not everyone can grow up to be president or a brain surgeon. Yet, if you say this in many circles you will be quickly chastised and informed that we all have the same potential if we just try hard enough.
But even though we’re not created equal in regard to the talents we’re given, there is equality found in the parable of the talents. It comes from the fact that it takes just as much work for the five-talent servant to produce five more talents as it does for the two-talent servant to produce two more talents.
This is why the reward given by the master is the same. The master measures success by degrees of effort, as should we.
Like the servants in the parable of the talents, God has given each of us unique resources and talents to be used in everything we do, especially our vocational callings. The master gave out a different number of talents to each servant “according to the servant’s ability.” The one talent servant was not expected to produce five talents.
Biblical success is faithfully using all gifts, talents, and opportunities God has given us for the furtherance of his kingdom here on earth. This work should bring us both joy and peace of mind knowing we have done our best, through the power of Christ working though us, to accomplish what he has called us to do in order to make a difference in our world.
As Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are given different gifts.
We can’t be anything we want to be, but we can be everything God uniquely created us to be.
Consider spending some time in prayer and with trusted friends or family members to consider what unique gifts the Lord is calling you to use for him.
Read more about the implications of your unique gifts in this ebook Monday Morning Success: How Biblical Stewardship Transforms Your Work from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.
Here is the parable:
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:14-30 NIV
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1-8, 10 NIV
From the @YouVersion Plan T”he Biblical Meaning Of Success.” Check it out here: