Even if it’s only a very little we can do…

This week was a guilt-trip. It all started with a Christian program on TV highlighting the amazing acts of service and giving that Christians are doing. One man, for instance, deserted by his mother on a street corner at age twelve, has created a worldwide ministry serving thousands of children. Another courageous Christian ministry is rescuing girls from prostitution in Cambodia.

I thought to myself, “But what am I doing to help people? I’m not doing anything close to what these Christians are doing. I feel so guilty, so lacking, so – well, admit it – so inferior.”

Then I heard that a friend of mine had published a book. A book, no less. I haven’t done that either. So what am I doing with my life instead, when all these other Christians are being so active, productive and useful? And I’m not just feeling guilty, I’m jealous too, because think how great it’s going to be for them in the line-up meeting Jesus one day. All those wonderful things they did they can talk to Jesus about. And me? Not a book to my name; and not a child rescued.

It reminded me of Jesus’ story in Luke 19:15-19 about a king wanting to know how much his subjects gained with the money he’d given them. My worst fears exactly; it’s line-up time and Jesus wants to know what I’ve got to show for all my years of being a Christian. What did I do with the gifts he gave me?

Well, the first chap comes up and he’s made ten times what the king gave him. And the king is jolly pleased, verse 17: “Well done,” he says, “Because you have been faithful in a very little…”

Hang on, stop tape, what was that? For all those tremendous gains the man had made, it was only “a very little?”

But in that very little the man had been been faithful, and that’s what counted. Faithful how, though? Verse 23, he’d been faithful in using what he’d been given to serve the king’s purpose. It wasn’t to make a name for himself, or to get himself on TV as a great guy, or to impress people with his good deeds; it was simply to serve the one who’d given him the talents in the first place in whatever way he could.

It isn’t what we do with what we’ve been given, then, is it? It’s who we are doing it for. It’s using what we’ve got to serve Jesus’ purpose. So, even if it’s only a very little we can do, it gets a “well done” from Jesus when it’s done for him.

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