To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.Matthew 25:29 NLT
The story of the talents is a favorite for proving all kinds of things, but primarily the virtue and value of being faithful. The first two guys were rewarded equally, though they were differently gifted and their gross production was different. The third guy got hammered for not doing anything productive with what he had received, blaming his behavior on a warped assessment of the nature of his boss.
For some reason, this verse got stuck in my head this morning. I think it is the use of the word “abundance.” I like the idea of abundance. It means having enough for my own needs, and plenty left over to bless other folks. We’re talking about overflow. There are hundreds of great books on the market on how to get to abundance in finances, and that is important. But I like to think abundance should be my inheritance in every area of good: abundant joy, abundant peace, abundant grace, abundant effectiveness, etc.
This morning I was struck by the attitudes that people cling to that prevent them from moving on to abundance. There are at least three strategies that are guaranteed to fail in the pursuit of an abundant life:
- Complaining about the blessing that comes to another. Every moment spent bemoaning someone else’s good fortune is lethal to my own personal success. Glory to God, the man has 5! 1 Corinthians 12:26
- Moping about the inadequacy of my own gifts and abilities. A man with a yardstick can measure an acre of ground. It just takes longer than the guy with a laser. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5
- Blaming God for my lack. He is good. He is all-wise. Though I may be differently equipped than others, God has extended the same grace to me as to every other human being. He is not the author of my lack, but He is the author of my future. James 1:16-18
Here’s the point: You can’t get where you need to go by wishing you were there. You can’t use the tools your neighbor has, you have to use your own toolbox. God wants you to win and He thinks you have all you need to do it. He’s right.