In God We Trust…
is a phrase we are all very familiar with in America. It’s been a subject and topic of debate, it’s written on our money and embedded in the hearts and minds of people in our country. I’m not here to talk about our trust in God with our possessions at this time though. What I’d like to stretch our imagination about is how God has entrusted His possessions with us! As crazy as it may seem, this story vividly reveals that God has given each of us some very valuable possessions, goods, and opportunities to use for Him. Others may not choose you for something great but God certainly has! He trusts you!
It’s God’s Choice.
Who can tell God what to do? As is the case with this story Jesus tells, the master makes his choices and gives three of his servants some of his possessions. There are no certain qualifications that we hear of except that they were in the employment of the master; they were his servants. In John 15: 15-17 Jesus tells His disciples that He had chosen them, hand selected them, to go and bear fruit. The master in the story chooses these servants and expects them to do something good with what he gives them. In the same way, Jesus has chosen you and I and given us whatever it is we have. 1 Corinthians 4:7 clearly states:
7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
God chooses who gets what and just how much.
What we start with is up to God, however our actions affect what we end up with.
The master doesn’t go away leaving a long list of do’s and don’ts for the servants. He simply trusts them with his property and anticipates that they have been studying well along the way. He trusted they had been watching his life. The master had to believe that these servants knew how to wisely use what he was giving them. Unless they had been trained and educated, which would be unlikely for a servant, the master was relying upon their careful observance of his own life among them. He was giving them a chance to show what they had gleaned from simply living with him. Didn’t Jesus do the same thing? As He left the disciples, he told them to go and make disciples teaching them to “observe all things I have commanded you…” Did you catch that word “observe”?
Most principles about life are caught, not taught.
Through careful observance of the master’s life, the servants were well trained and taught how to do what they needed to do. Not only were they keen on how to do but they were also aware of his heart. Living with the master the servants knew what was important to him and what he valued. The master valued these servants and was giving them a chance to flourish. He was demonstrating he valued them more than his property.
Take some time and think about how God has bought you. Think about how you “owe” God. How does your view of servanthood maximize or minimize your view of God and serving Him?
How much do you think we get to choose to do? How chosen do you feel for certain tasks or jobs? Is there to something to which you feel called? Chosen? Reserved for?
How much time do you spend squabbling over what you’ve been given? How much time do you spend comparing yourself to someone else? How fair do you think God has been to you? Does God have to be fair? Why do you think you should have something more or different than what you have?
How much do you think God trusts you? How trustworthy do you see yourself?
Do you feel like God has a very specific way He wants certain things done? How much freedom do we have in using what God has given us?
That’s not fair!
We’ve all shouted it with great disdain as we see someone else getting more than us. As you know by now, life isn’t fair and to be honest, neither is God. God does not measure out gifts or blessings fairly. Does this mean God is not good? Not at all.
Do we ever cry and whine about such things! We live in a society where “fairness” reigns. We all feel like we deserve the same amount as the other guy. However, this is not the case in God’s Kingdom. God does not operate according to what is fair but His own pleasure. We get bent out of shape because we feel like we’re owed something or deserve something MORE. What we must realize from this passage is that the shares were unequal: one got 5, another 2, and another 1. Why is it so easy to find displeasure in what we have? We downplay and discourage others in their success and gifting all the while hating what we have because it doesn’t seem “fair”!
In this passage, God is conveying the fact that He does as He pleases. It is not going to seem fair to us but His ways are higher than ours. The sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can be about His business instead of our own.
As they were not equal in their amount, they were not equal in the distribution. The Master singled out a few men to entrust with his property. Surely he had other servants who were as “qualified” yet this time, the Master only selects three. How often do we feel “overlooked”? Left out? Wondering if God has anything for us? This was not an equal selection and there are going to be times when we may not be selected for a task. Everyone doesn’t get a chance to “lead” up front. But that doesn’t mean every person doesn’t need to lead their lives! Servants are people who serve and serve all the time.
By definition a servant is someone who serves, regardless of the position, acknowledgement or pay.
We live in a time where everyone thinks they should be paid for everything they do. People don’t want to serve others and even God unless they feel like they are going to get something out of it. Many years ago I heard a quote that has stuck with me: “Leadership is giving your best without being first”. If we are to be faithful servants of God, we must live well regardless of the position, acknowledgment or payment that comes our way. A servant is concerned about the Mater’s business not his own promotion or prestige or payment. We must accept that even if we cannot understand the choosing of God, that God knows what He is doing. We must trust Him and learn to trust His selections of people whom he places in charge for a season.
Furthermore, we need to quit grumbling and complaining about what little we have, whether position, gifts, or influence and become thankful for all we have been entrusted with and given. We need to stop degrading the leadership around us and begin praying for and supporting the people God has placed in charge. What would life be like for you if you were a leader surrounded by followers like yourself?
What things have you been given to use and to serve others with?
Are you using them for others and God’s Kingdom or for your own self-promotion?
How have you degraded or downplayed others out of a sense of jealousy or envy?
Are you angry over God’s choosing someone else instead of you?
Do you trust God’s providence and sovereignty in selections He has made?
If you feel like you want “more”, have you been faithful with your “little”?
How are you seeking God’s pleasure and taking delight in Him?