What Happens When Christians Think God Is Not Good…Again
This post is a continuation of an earlier post. You can read the first post here.
How do you feel when you hear a sermon where the preacher runs off on a long talk saying that you need to do something big for God to really matter for God? In case you are one of the lucky ones who have escaped such sermons, I can bet that you have heard this next one.
You must have heard a few of your church buddies talk about how they think a big time preacher is going to get big bonus points from God because he’s got a ministry reaching out to thousands or even millions (or was it you that said it?). They come tacked with nice comments like “for this, God must have a humongous mansion ready for him on the other side”.
You know, all these still show is that we really don’t think that God is good. This sort of thinking shows that we think that God is a task master who is readily impressed by “big and shinny” things. For example, a big ministry, a big church, a big crowd, a global outreach, blah, blah, blah (you can add to the list).
Unfortunately, the way Jesus painted God is really very different. He paints God as a Father who understands and because of that He meets us where we are. He doesn’t try to force any of His children into a mold but He expects them to live by His standards.
One of the best examples of how He illustrates it is in the story of the talents. Welcome to Sunday School 101. Three servants got varying degrees of responsibilities – five talents, two talents and one talent. Everyone got stuff according to his abilities.
I am sure you have heard gazillion sermons on the guy who got one talent (probably even read books on it right?) so he’s not my focus. My focus is actually on the two chaps that got five and two talents.
Supposing the guy who got five talents came back with four and on their way back starts snickering at the guy with two talents (who comes back with two more). Let’s imagine the conversation – “man, you mean all you could bring back was just two? There were so many opportunities and all you could bring back it two. You need to up your game.”
The thing is that the guy with two talents would get top marks because he delivered 100% unlike the guy with five who came back with four (80%). As I said earlier, God meets us where we are.
In my earlier post, I wrote, “God does not owe us for our faithfulness even though He rewards our faithfulness”. Let me add this to the thought – God measures our faithfulness not by what we produce but by what we have been given. As the good book said, “To whom much is given, much will be expected.”
This is one of the reasons why I try to serve everyone in all my relationships – home, church, work and community. I am committed to them because I have a responsibility to them. I focus on serving the people I see around me rather than look forward to serving people who are far from me that I don’t have a relationship with.
This is one of the reasons why I don’t mind sacrificing even church commitments for the service of people I know (especially my family) in line with God’s expectation of my faithfulness to them. God does not look at the number of people I surround myself with but how I have been faithful to serve the people He has given me.
So how big is the mansion for the guy with the multi-nation world outreach? As big as his level of faithfulness to what God has given him. Don’t be surprised, if the guy with no such platform but faithful may get a bigger mansion for his faithfulness.
Now you need to simplify your walk with God. Commit yourself to making the most of what you have to serve the people around you. Live to be faithful to that and God would add more (like He added to the guy with five talents). Show your faithfulness in that and you get some more. You can count on this, He will reward your faithfulness to every level of responsibility and perhaps one day He might actually give you responsibility for a large audience.
It’s all down to God.
God does not owe us for our faithfulness even though He rewards our faithfulness. And God measures our faithfulness not by what we produce but by what we have been given.