Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Much Did You Get?

Read the Real Story: Luke 12:47 – 48, Matthew 25: 14 – 30

Mr. Leaf did not send home a supply list to his new class. He told all the parents that the kids didn’t need to bring anything to school, because he wanted to give them all the school supplies the students needed. The first day of school for Mr. Leaf’s new class felt a little bit like Christmas. They knew they were going to get a bunch of stuff when they walked into that classroom.
On the first day of school, the children had to stand in the hall until the bell rang. Then Mr. Leaf started bringing them into his classroom one at a time.
Marcus went in first and he was thrilled at what he found in his desk. Never had he owned such great school supplies: 108 crayon colors, 72 paint colors, 3 scissors sizes, 14 notebooks, electric hole punch, mechanical pencils, colored pens, 5 kinds of glue sticks, 7 kinds of glue bottles, dictionary, science books, history books, math books, a laptop computer, construction paper, drawing paper, notebook paper… He was still finding new things when Mr. Leaf brought Logan in.
Logan didn’t need much time at all to sort all of his school supplies. In Logan’s desk he found two old pencils and a small stack of notebook paper. That’s all. Logan was so hurt, so sad, so disappointed. When he saw Marcus with all of his stuff, he felt even worse.
Which kid would you rather be? The one with much or the one with little?
Mr. Leaf kept bringing kids in one at a time. A few others had a ton of stuff like Marcus and a few others had almost nothing like Logan. But most of their gifts were somewhere in the middle.
When the whole class was in the room, Mr. Leaf started to speak. “Welcome to real life school. I don’t need to tell you that you don’t all have the same things in your desks. I should tell you now that you cannot give any of your gifts away. And don’t try to loose them or throw them away either. They are yours for life.”
Twelve kids muttered, “No fair.”
So Mr. Leaf continued with, “Of course it’s not fair. This can never be fair.
“Next I am going to pass out your assignment list for the day. And before you see the list I should tell you, this is not fair. I will give you a list like this every day of the school year. You must finish each assignment or you will be…”
Marcus stopped listening when Mr. Leaf put a paper on his desk. His joy flew away as he read his list. Twelve assignments. And each one of them would take him at least an hour. If he worked like crazy, he would still have five hours of homework.
When Logan read his list he started to feel better. He could finish his five assignments by lunch time if he worked hard. Take it easy and some would be left for the afternoon.
Which kid would you rather be? The one with much or the one with little?
Mr. Leaf is not like any teacher I know. Teachers seem focused on keeping things fair. Everyone has to have the same things and do the same things. Most of them talk the same way as the puppets on TV. “You are ALL special and you ALL have special gifts. Marcus might be really good at math, but you have your own special gift too.”
But really some kids are better at everything. You might know a kid like Marcus. He’s the best in his class in math, reading, and spelling. He’s the second fastest runner in the class, but he is still the best at basketball. And don’t try to beat him in art because even if you have a more creative idea, his neatness and detail will still impress the teacher more.
You might know a kid like Logan. He’s not the worst at math every day, because sometimes Liz and Rex don’t bring their homework. But there are plenty of days when Logan doesn’t have his homework, so that puts him back down at the bottom again. Math just isn’t Logan’s thing, but reading and spelling are not his thing either. He’s pretty bad at those too. At recess he would be the worst at basketball except that he doesn’t play that very often. And art is one of his favorites but his pictures never look much like the teacher’s example.
It’s not fair.
It’s not fair in my story, but it is not fair in real life either. God chose not to be fair. He gave some people a lot and some people a little. “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (Luke 12:48b)
Jesus told a story to explain this. In His story, a big boss guy was about to go on a long trip, so he gave money to three of his servants. He did not give the same amount of money to each one. When the boss came back, he rewarded the servants who used the money to get more money and he punished the one who did nothing with the money.
In Jesus’ story it was all about money. And that is real life. Some people have a lot of money and some people don’t have much. But God wants all of them to use their money the right way.
There are other ways that God gives gifts to people that are not money. God gives some people a lot of knowledge about Him and some not much at all. Some kids already know so much about the Bible and the Kingdom of God. Some kids have only heard the Christmas story one time. It is not fair. God expects the kid who knows a lot about God to do a lot more than the kid who knows little.
The other way you could have a lot or a little is in the things you can do. God makes some people good at a lot of stuff and some not so good at anything. God expects the one who is good at a lot to do a lot for God.
If you know a lot about God and you are really good at a lot of things, you have a super long list of assignments from God. You have a lot to do. Use all that you have. Have a great time and get busy.
If you are just beginning to learn about God and you are not very good at anything, you have a list of assignments from God too. God might have given you just one gift, but He still expects you to use that one gift for Him. But the amazing thing is, if you use the small ability for God, He will make it bigger. And then you can use your bigger gifts for God and He will make them bigger again. And again and again.
Stop trying to make it fair. Some people have a lot and some have a little. But God knows exactly what he gave you. And God is watching carefully to see how you will use it. If you do well with your gifts, you will get more. And when you get more, more is expected.


You can see a church where some people have a lot and some have little. But they are all pushing hard to use their gifts to make God’s Kingdom bigger.

Find more of Nathan’s writing at Amazon and Helium.

No comments:

Post a Comment