"Well" and "done" are the first two words of the "man going on a long trip." Jesus told the story.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
“The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
“After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money."
Matthew 25:14-19 (NLT)
As he continues the story, He tells of the accounting. In short, two pass; and one fails, miserably so.
As I continue, and invite you to join me, on the journey of living the Ordinary Life, I keep this parable (often known as the Parable of the Talents) close at hand - or, better stated, hidden in my heart.
Here's why . . .
1. Jesus' story reminds me that He is generous.
Just as did the man to his servants, Jesus provides all that I need. No more and no less. I often pray the words of Agur. Agur? Who's that? You know, the son of Jakeh. Who? Oh. Never mind. I don't know either. Whoever he was, he was clearly wise.
O God, I beg two favors from you;
let me have them before I die.
First, help me never to tell a lie.
Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
Proverbs 30:7-9 (NLT)
2. Jesus' story reminds me that He expects my best.
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'"
Matthew 25:21 (NLT)
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’"
Matthew 25:23 (NLT)
Why twice? Because the master said it twice. Check it out! He said the same thing (exactly the same thing) to two servants with different amounts. The "five bag" guy did not receive more praise; the "two bag" guy did not receive less praise.
I don't have to do your best. God expects my best. God's like a kindergarten teacher who loves teaching and the kids in class and expects each girl and boy to draw a picture of a house.
One looks like . . .
OK, that last one's a stretch.
In that teacher's class, only the student whose house looks like this fails . . .
3. Jesus' story reminds me that when I am "Five Bags Guy," I am not to look poorly upon "Two Bags" and to leave the accounting of "One Bag" to the Giver of the bags. Remember - "Five Bags" and "Two Bags" both heard "Well done!"
4. Jesus' story reminds me that when I am "Two Bags," I am to be content - as in not jealous of "Five Bags." Someone is always smarter, more beautiful, richer, more spiritually mature, a better pray-er, faster, more well-spoken, more popular, thinner, has a better six-pack, longer legs, fuller hair, knows more people, has read more books, builds better than you . . . you get the point. Yet, as long as I do my best, I hear the same "Well done!" The same holds true for you.
Live the Ordinary!
Let's celebrate together!