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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

To Whom Much Is Given

One of the things that people seem to talk about is how much they have to put up with, how much they deserve, how much they've given, etc. It seems that a great deal of this talk often centers around their belief that whatever it is ... it's enough. They seem to have come to the conclusion that they have put with, sacrificed, or give as much as they should. I have to confess that this mindset puzzles me.

In Luke 12:48, Jesus tells us that "to whom much is given, much is required." I have looked at that verse every way I know how, checking it against various translations, putting it in context, etc. In other words, I wrestle with that verse. For Jesus to say that anything is required sounds pretty serious to me. I want to know exactly what He means by that! And so I wrestle with verses like this. Eventually, that wrestling results in some conclusions. I've come to a conclusion about what Luke 12:48 really means in practical terms. Let me tell you about that.

Most of the preachers we here put this verse into the context of money. "To whom much wealth is given, but generosity is expected." Most of us seem to grasp that concept pretty easily. It's especially easy to embrace for those of us who feel like we really haven't been given all that much! We can happily point the finger at the truly wealthy people and just seem to instinctively know that this verse was written particularly for them. True? Don't kid yourself! It is way more than that!

Here's what I believe the Holy Spirit has revealed to me about Luke 12:48:

To whom much grace has been offered, much grace is required (to be shown to others). To whom much understanding has been given, much teaching is required. To whom much forgiveness has been shown, much forgiveness is required. To whom much understanding has been granted, much understanding is required. To those who have received great mentors, great mentoring is required. To whom have received great parents, great parenting is required. To those who have received good educations, those educations must be used resourcefully. To whom much patience has been shown, much patience is required. Those who have been granted many chances should be granting many chances to others. Those who have received help from others should be offering help to others.

You see, this list can go on and on. That's the whole point. Count the blessings you have received --- and then be prepared to bless others similarly. Why don't we Christians get that? Why don't our churches teach that better? Why do we love to just make it about money? (Even if we could make it only about money --- most of us have been given more than we'll admit to!)

I think it's time we look at our circumstances in a new way. Instead of noticing the boundaries of reasonableness and being certain that we're very near to crossing them --- if we haven't already, let's notice the boundaries on our blessings. Not finding any boundaries on the blessings? Finding that your blessings just continue on and on? Then maybe that's what's required of you --- to be blessing others without any boundaries.

To whom much is given, much is required. Let's remember that folks.

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