So much has been on my mind lately...and I've listened to many great sermons, and some good sermons. Something that really sticks out to me, especially in down times with our economy, is investments. On occasion, there is nothing better we can do with our earned money or given money, but invest. Which investments do we choose? Which stock? Which company? When searching for the greatest option, we look at production. It is wise to invest in a company that has a record of good production, positive increase in wealth, and a good return on investment. Right? Any half-intelligent person would look for success before investing into that company.
What about loans? I know being the lender is a different position than being a borrower. If you were the lender, what would you look for in a borrower? If I were to lend money that I earned to someone, I would make sure they are credible. I would want either a personal relationship with that person to where paying me back is something that is understood. If I owned a business that offered loans, I would do things much different. Such things would be, demand a record of payments the borrower has made within several past years. Check the credit report. And a number of other things I would check to make sure I wouldn't be lending money to someone that couldn't afford to pay me back or that wouldn't pay me back in general.
Well, this is all very obvious statements that anybody would agree with. So, why do we have faith in the opposite? In the world, the afore mentioned budgeting schema is not only accepted but expected. But in our faith with the non-visible realm, we not only accept different but expect different too. What do I mean? Well, God gives everyone talents. Matthew 25:14-30. Jesus uses the parable of the master and his 3 slaves. The master gives one slave 5 talents (which in these times meant currency), to another he gave 2 talents, and to the last he gave 1. The slave with 5 talents made 5 more, the slave with 2 made 2 more and the slave with 1 made no more. The slave with 1 instead buried the talent in order to escape the risk of losing the talent and upon his own 'priniciple' saying "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground." (Matt 25:24-25). This is especially important. Jesus used this parable to explain how His Father works.
God gives everyone talent (in this meaning I mean actual talent, not currency). With our talent, we earn currency. Athletes that harvest their talent get a free college education and some even use that talent to earn money after college. Shrewd businessmen use their talent to get ahead, and make wise choices. Intelligent peoples strive for excellence and climb the economical ladder. And so on and so forth. But it's not what you do with your talent that I am addressing, but what you do not do with your talent. The Lord will NEVER give you anything you cannot handle. Everyone has a different talent. If we all had the same talent, we would never experience growth because we would only be a nation that is great at 1 talent. (ESPN would be out of a job).
For those peoples that have yet to harvest their talent, or complain of having too little currency, I ask you this: What are you doing with what you have already been given? If God gives you $100 and you squander it, why would He entrust you with more? If you are given money and never give back any money, why would God bless you with more money? If a promotion is what you are in search for, what makes you deserving? Don't you think if God was receiving a portion of you earnings, He would bless you with more knowing you will GIVE Him more?
This brings me back to the investment. God will invest in those who will give Him a return on HIS investment. When you want a 'loan,' the Lender wants to see a record of payment. Are you giving what is not yours? I know we are used to earning money and saying "this is my money, I'll spend it how I please." But, you forget, God GAVE you talents. And He WANTS to be given a return on His investment. Yes, you are a shrewd businessman. But, no one can be more shrewd than the ORIGINAL Businessman.
Are you taking what you have been given and using it on yourself for your own benefit? Not giving God what is His is the same as burying it in the earth. I mean, when you die, you cannot take what you've gained here on earth with you. So yes, ultimately, you are burying your talents. On the other hand, if you are a good investment, will you not receive a promotion? If you give the lender their money back, plus interest, will they not lend you MORE? "For everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he has shall be taken away." (Matt 25:29).
If you are waiting on God to bless you before you give Him what is rightfully His, than you will not see a promotion. Because He needs to see a positive payment history in order to make a WISE BUSINESS DECISION. Do not make a bargain with God that you have yet to prove you can accomplish. If you aren't willing to lend your money to someone based on their word alone, don't expect God to be so foolish.
GIVE and you will be GIVEN MORE! And this isn't just monetary. Give your time, talent, money, attention, etc. Whatever you have, you are meant to share.
BE BLESSED! :o)