“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
– Luke 12:48
The above two clauses in Luke 12:48 indeed differ slightly, though they are parallel in meaning. The first refers to “gifts” which involve what we speak of as a general moral responsibility, while the second clause refers to that which has been solemnly committed to men as a trust or deposit. (Compare with: 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:12 and 2 Timothy 1:14). If God has blessed you with much, do not spend it all self-indulging in wasteful spending; but use it to spread the gospel! Believers must live their lives in light of eternity. Last week it was pointed out believers are not just here on earth to become fat cats and eat, drink and be merry! Believers have a greater and larger purpose that God has called each of us to fulfill.
The self-indulgent, however, in James’ day did not accept the reality that their positions and wealth was part of a larger cosmic scheme. (See James 5). There is enough wealth in this world to eliminate hunger! There is enough money in this world to eliminate poverty as we know it! There is enough talent in this world to eliminate certain diseases and sicknesses. According to Forbes Magazine there are over 1500 billionaires in the world and well over 2000 persons whose net worth is in excess of 800 million dollars. Yet, according to U. S. News and World Report these people give less than 2 percent of their income to charity even though it is said giving to charity activates brain regions associated with trust, pleasure and social connections. Be not deceived we are to enjoy what measures of wealth we have as a blessing from God, but we must be rich toward God and others also.
If we are going break the chain of self-indulgence, we must turn from self-indulgence, deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus the Christ. (Luke 9:23). According to Jesus, self-denial is a basic requirement of a transformed life. Ask yourself these questions: Is my life characterized by self-indulgence or self-denial? If God were to ask me to give an account for the money God has entrusted to me, will I be found guilty of self-indulgence?
Beloved, our children are being raised in a society of excesses, and many of them do not know what it is they want. To begin breaking the chain of self-indulgence with our next generation, we must teach our children the right perspective and the right priority – it is God who has endowed them with gifts and resources. Their lives are not their own, they are beholden to their Creator and they must use God’s gifts to make the world a better place.
Next week, this writer will continue the series; but will introduce a new chain that needs broken: The Chain of Ingratitude.
Next Week: Breaking the Chain of Ingratitude
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.