I took a test called the Hartman Value Profile, and it reported that I was off the charts for optimism. This optimism often translates into an almost mania like state where I begin adding 100 new things to the list of things that I’m going to do to save the world.
Reality check: It’s not my job to save the world. There, I said it. In fact, it’s not anyone on earth’s job. Jesus did that, so what is my lane? It’s my job to do what He says do. Simple obedience, rather than scattered efforts at plotting and planning, that can give me a unhealthy schedule, unfocused brain, and may not actually help anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to plan. We’re encouraged through God’s Word to plan (Proverbs 21:5) and Jesus speaks of counting the costs (Luke 14:28-32) of whatever you are going to do, including following Him, as common sense.
HOWEVER, the leading of the Holy Spirit, that guides us to truth and understanding doesn’t always follow what we think is logical, or what we have planned for ourselves. In the same passage where Jesus talks about the common sense of planning to build a tower, or to go to war, Jesus is asking the disciples to forsake all they have. I don’t know about you, but giving up all I have, all I’ve worked for and has been given to me– that would not be my logical plan A. This is how most of us would probably look at Jesus if He asked you to literally give up everything to follow Him:
Still, He IS calling us to follow Him, to do what He asks, in simple obedience. We may not have to sell every material possession and completely abandon every relationship, but we do have to surrender each of those things that we thought were ours, to Him. That way, when we work, in all labor there truly is profit, because we work not for ourselves, but as unto the Lord.
Jesus paints a picture of this principle in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. A man entrusted his servants with a different number of talents, according to their ability. The measure of whether they met the approval of the master when he returned was whether or not they multiplied what they were given. The talents were not theirs, but the master’s. They were just stewards of them.
Often times we sit on our gifts from the Lord out of fear of what will happen to us or it if we take a risk. I imagine the one who hid his talent had a lot of time to talk about what he could do with it, talk about the talents of others and what they were doing, but didn’t actually take the time to focus on what God had given her to multiply what was in her hands already.
Talking about how we will one day do this and that is idle chatter that won’t get us a paycheck or earn us credit in God’s Kingdom. What are we waiting for?
Lord, help us to stop talking about it and be about it. Help us to do more doing than talking, so that we may profit, but most of all so that we may honor you with all we have. In Jesus’ name! Amen.