Lessons I’m learning from: Comparison (Part 2, Purpose)

Matthew 25v14-16 ‘Again , it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags of gold, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.’

I begin this blog by looking at the parable of the bags of gold. It was a parable that I was reminded of when I was having some quiet time with God. The question that popped into my head was, is that one bag of gold still significant? My answer was yes, it still has worth and purpose. To give some context on why this parable served to be a reminder, I had finished listening to a podcast on comparison. I was praying over areas of my life that I had been comparing and wanting to surrender them to God. This parable linked to my comparison of my social media and my blog, neither have a high number of viewings or following. I needed that reminder that what I was doing still had worth but also to be humbled too. The reason I shut down my original Instagram was I wanted to have a page that was focused on my blog and on ministry work. It was no longer glorifying myself but about getting God’s word out there, it did not matter about the followers it mattered that it was a place where encouragement and truth would be found. In getting distracted with the numbers, I forgot my purpose. This is the message of the blog today, I pray that if you have been going through the same thing or lacking courage to start something that you have been called to do then this will be of help.

Let’s go back to the Parable, these servants have been given various amounts of gold bags. The one who was given five put it to work and gained five more, as with the one with two gained two more. As for the servant who had one, what did he do with it? 25v18 ‘But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.’ I have read this parable many times and rolled my eyes when it came to the servant with one bag. Why could he have not followed what the other servants were doing? What I came to realise this week, many of us are the servant who was entrusted with the one bag of gold. We look at what the other servants have been entrusted with and feel belittled and unworthy. An important point to remember from the verses at the beginning was that the bags of gold they were given, were in accordance with their ability. That means that they were not given too much or too little. That man who was given the one bag was entrusted with it because the Master knew that the servant could use it purposefully. It was the servant’s choice to bury it. Capability was seen in him but he lacked knowing the purpose behind what he had been given. This is an important reminder for us all, That no matter how small we may feel our purpose is in our creative outlets or even in our jobs, that we need to learn to be faithful to build on what we have been given. We never gain more by doing nothing but our pursuit in life should not always be about having thousands of followers or friends etc. We lose our purpose quickly when we go running after what other people have.

I will put myself in the servant”s shoes with the one bag of gold. I have been entrusted with writing this blog, it is something that I choose to do faithfully each week regardless of the amount of people who read it. I know that my family always read this, hello everyone. I know truthfully that there are people with many more followers on their blog who are writing about the same topic that I am and are receiving a lot more from that. There are times where it could be so easy to bury this blog, to get rid of it and to spend this time doing something else. I know there is fruit in the faithfulness, even in this blog makes a change in one person’s life then it has never been wasted. Even if it makes a change in no ones life reading it, it has made a change in my life by doing it. It has enabled me to see how the purpose of God flows through everything and how his word truly is the living word.

I feel that there are many people who are called to do things creatively but who look at influencers who have so many followers and everything else and believe that what they are called to do has no purpose. Take your eyes off of what other people have and trust what you have been given. Many of us are not called to have millions of followers and we need to realise to have millions of followers would really impact how we live our life. It certainly would not impact it in a positive way, a lot of the time. I have 79 followers on my Instagram page,  that is still 79 different people who follow me which probably includes some bots.  Imagine sitting in a room with those 79 people, what you post online will have a possible impact on some of them or all of them. It is important that what we are putting online is not misguiding or something that is just been created for those people. I use my Instagram to post encouragements from God’s truth, that I hope will inspire and give hope to people. It is about planting those seeds, not about me seeing the reward but it is about God being glorified.  This links back to the Parable well, the Master returns each of the servants are asked to give an account of what they have done with the bags of gold. The servant entrusted with five bags gives five bags more and the one with two bags gives two bags more. The Master replies 25v21 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant ! You have been faithful with few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.’

As for the one who had buried his one bag, v24 ‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ May we not be like this servant, who gives back to God the incredible gifts and talents that he has blessed us with. Having wasted our life running in fear because we do not compare to the worldly comparisons around us. I pray for each of you reading this, that you would allow God to enable you to step boldly into what he has called you to do. Do not allow your life to fly by you, missing out on all the opportunities that you have been called to serve and bless. There is much more to life than our social media standing or even our social status with our peers and work colleagues. Many of us will bury the good blessings that we have been entrusted with because we do not know the capability that God sees in us to use them. It is only through surrender to God that we come to know all that he has called us to do. That we take the focus off ourselves and realise that the life that we live is not for our glory, it is a life in which we are called to glorify God. It is through our relationship with Jesus that we come to that intimate place of surrender and humility and we enable our lives to be used for God’s glory. It will not always be the easiest path but it will reap the greatest blessings.

What was the Master’s reply to this servant? 25v26 ,28-30‘…You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? … ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be reaping and gnashing of teeth.’ The servant lost his purpose, lost his worth and was cast away from all that he could have had. May we keep surrendering all that we are and all who we want to be to God. May we allow his guidance and transformation over our life, to get us to the end. May we cast aside comparison and rejection and lies. May we as the church build each other up. Supporting one another and coming together to create something beautiful which honours and lifts up the name of Jesus not us.

‘Our life is a small life but a powerful life when lived inside the heart of God’ – Heidi Baker

Have a blessed week, you are loved and cherished. Love Victoria xx

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