This morning, I was out jogging when I decided to walk a bit. Just then a trim runner sprinted toward me, glancing at his watch as he passed. “This is embarrassing,” I thought. “What must he think of me?” Five minutes later he passed me going in the other direction. It looked like he was running wind sprints back and forth while I ambled along. I got out of there as fast as I could (which wasn’t very!).
Sometimes I’m embarrassed by more gifted “runners” in the kingdom of God as well. But I needn’t be. Jesus said God has given each of us responsibilities according to our abilities (Matthew 25:15). We who have “two bags of silver” need not be jealous of those who are given “five.” God isn’t impressed by our talents (even five bags is still a “small amount” in His eyes, see Matthew 25:21), but He does applaud our faithfulness. And so the servant who’s diligent with two bags receives the same praise as the one who invests five (Matthew 25:21-23).
We can lament over the three bags we don’t have, or we can focus on the two bags we do possess. William Carey was a poor, self-educated British cobbler. He wasn’t on anyone’s fast track. But he said, “I can plod. I can persevere to any definite pursuit.” Carey took longer than most to get up to speed, but his enthusiasm to reach the world for Jesus finally brought him to India, where he became known as the father of modern missions.
Not many of us can run wind sprints in the kingdom of God. But we all can plod. Day after ordinary day, we can work diligently, serve others, and pray for opportunities to lead them to Jesus. Look at the “silver” in your hands. Whatever the amount, it’s enough to hear from God, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 17:20-37
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 to learn how we should think about our place in the kingdom of God.
What talents has God given you? How are you using them to serve others in the kingdom of God? What else may God be calling you to do?