C.S. Lewis writes in The Weight of Glory , “like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea, we are far too easily pleased.”1
God has entrusted to us a great treasure in the hope of the Good News of His love, mercy, forgiveness, and transformed life found in Christ Jesus. The quote from C.S. Lewis reminds us that far too often this trust has been given to mere children who lack the ability to keep the value of what has been given to us. Each of us who have come to know about the love of God are given a portion of God’s gifts, which flow from his never-ending blessings. All of us are given the promise and hope of this message of love, to invest in the lives of those who cross our paths each day.
It is a great responsibility with a treasure is to be responsible to care for it and to use it in the right way. We are not given the gift of God’s love and mercy simply to save it in our hearts, or to keep our lives for the future in glory. We are given this gift to invest and multiply the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ parable of the Three Managers (Stewards) shows us some very valuable things about this great treasure, which God has entrusted to our lives. First, God has given different blessings to each of His servants. The three managers were not given the same amount of wealth to be responsible for, but each was given a different amount. It is quite possible that the owner of the estate knew the kind of workers he was dealing with before the gift was given, and so he knew who would be most responsible with the wealth given. Beyond the gift of salvation God blesses us with a multitude of good blessings and abilities. However, none of us are given the same gifts. Some of us are given similar gifts, but not exactly the same gifts or ability. You may be a financial wizard, your friend may be great at teaching, and someone else may be great with making things with their hands. All of us are given gifts to use to invest into the world in which we live.
Secondly, all were held accountable for what they did with the wealth given. There is a day of account when all things will be measured up. We are not talking about earning our way to heaven, or buying our way into eternity, as some religions promote. However, there will come a time when everyone will appear before God, the owner and creator of all things, and He will ask the simple question, “What have you done with all that I have given you?” Since all things are given to us to invest into others around us we will be asked to be accountable for all that was given into our lives. Some people will share how they helped those around them in sharing the great gifts of God and the hope of God’s love found in Jesus Christ. Others will be faced with the reality that they never even tried to invest in others and they have no return to share with God.
The third note that I believe we can learn from this parable is that all who made a valid attempt to invest the wealth entrusted to them had some return. The return may double or it may be short of doubling, but in the end what is invested will give back something more. When accounts are given at the end of time it appears that we will be held accountable for trying to invest God’s love and Good News of Salvation into others, and not for the results of the investment. There are some missionary stories that I have read, and some missionaries I have known who have spent ten or twenty years living with locals, loving people, sharing life with them and instead of seeing whole villages come to a full acceptance they only have a handful of people who really become Christ-followers. Some would say that is poor investment, since the deck was stacked against it from the start. However, they are doing God’s will. They are sharing what God has given them.
I remember reading one of these stories years ago, of a missionary couple who spent more than twenty years living among a tribe. They simply loved the people and lived with them trying to share God’s love. Just before they died they finally were able to see one man come to be a Christ-follower. They left the mission field and went home to live only a few more years.
Many would have thought their investment showed a poor return. However, a new missionary couple went into the area a few years later to find several people were now Christ-followers. This couple also stayed many years living with the people, but the result was the whole village came to the point of being followers in Christ’s love. The investment now showed great return, because the first couple had faithful to share God’s love as they lived among the people.
Take sometime today to look at your life. Look deeply at all the wonderful blessing and gifts God has given you. Consider God’s great love for you. Then ask yourself how you are doing with this great treasure that God has given you to invest into the world around you?
Keep on your journey with Jesus today,
1) C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, published in THEOLOGY, 1942 S.P.C.K (originally a sermon in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford on June 8, 1942), (source: http://www.verber.com/…/weight-of-glroy.pdf 10/7/14)