FROM PASTOR'S DESK 2022 Pastor's Desk

Your own enemy | Pst. J.O. Lawal | June 26, 2022 |Vol. 11, No. 8

Beloved: grace, mercy and peace be yours from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. I gladly welcome you to the last week of the month of June 2022. My prayer is that God will rid your life of everything that is hindering the full manifestation of His blessings in your life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

In the parable of our Lord Jesus about a man who gave his servants certain amount of money to work with, we see a very important life principle. And it is that anyone who will not intelligently put their God’s given relationships, abilities, opportunities or privileges to work will not increase in good works or in the good things of this life. It is only those who sensibly utilize and continue to utilize what God has given them that will continue to abound in good works and good things. (Cf. Matt 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-26)

As the account goes, a man, who was going on a long journey, decided to share some of his money among his servants, so that they may put it to work. In other words, he did not want all of his money lying fallow and gathering dust in his safe while he was away. So, he gave part of it to his servants to work with, according to the ability of each of them. To one he gave five talents. To another he gave two talents. And yet to another he gave one talent.

Now, after a long time, this man came back and began to settle accounts with the servants he had entrusted his money to. And to his surprise, only two of them worked with the money he had given them and multiplied it. The man with five talents made a profit of five more talents with his money. Likewise, the man with two talents made a profit of two more talents with his money. But the man that was given one talent only came around with excuses. He did nothing with the talent he was given and so got nothing in addition to it.

Why did he do nothing with his own talent? Well, the popular answer is that he did nothing with it because he felt that what he was given was too small, when compared to what others were given. But that was never the reason. In the first place, their master gave each of them money according to their abilities. So, what he could handle was what he was given. Second, historians will have us know that a talent at that time was about 20 years of a day labourer’s wage. So, it was a lot of money that this man was given.

It follows, then, that it was not because his money was small that he did nothing with it. Rather, in his own words, it was because he was afraid of losing it that he did nothing with it (Matt 25:25). But as his master told him, he could have deposited the money with the bankers, and he would have received it back with interest. So, fear was not enough reason for him not to do anything with such a huge sum of money. He had another problem, which was laziness. In other words, it was because he was lazy in his mind and with his hands that he made no effort to consider how to multiply what he was given. So, he allowed the very thing his master was trying to avoid to happen – he allowed his money to lie fallow.

To cut a long story short, apart from the punishment that this lazy and unprofitable man was given to serve, his master commanded that his money be taken away from him and given to one of the servants that had shown themselves worthy of receiving more. And in conclusion, our Lord Jesus says that is exactly how things work in God’s kingdom. Those who acknowledge all that God has given them – people, resources, skills, gifts, education, position and so forth – however small or insignificant these things may be, and are putting them to good use are the ones He will continue to promote and increase in good things. But those who do nothing with what He has given them can only expect what they have, even if it is little, to be taken away from them. This explains why poor people often get poorer and rich and influential people often get richer and more influential. 

So, if you are not utilizing what God has given you or enabled you to acquire by His grace, you are simply showing yourself to be unprofitable and unfit to be introduced or elevated to higher heights in life. You are your own enemy then, regardless of what your excuses may be. You are the one limiting and pulling yourself down. Therefore, you should not expect things to get better but worse for you.

Now my prayer is that things will only get better and better and never worse for you. But praying about it alone will not do. You also need to wake up from your slumber, stop making excuses for failure or poverty and identify everything God has given you that you can use to increase yourself in relevance, good works and resources in life and begin to put it to work. And as you do this, you will be amazed to see all the blessings of God that have been inactive or dormant in your life fully finding expression.

Have a splendid week.

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