It seems it would not require any great difficulty or hard work to have self-control. We all know it is important and needed in our lives. Yet, it is difficult and takes a lot of work to exercise self-control. Maybe it is because it is something to be exercised that we find it challenging.
We are all called to be faithful and to make that happen the seed of faithfulness is given to us and planted in our hearts. How we nurture that seed and what we do with it is up to us. Jesus makes it clear in the Parable of the Three Servants (Matt 24:16-30) that being faithful is not something to take for granted.
In the Parable, Jesus told the disciples a story of a rich man going on a journey. Before he left he called three of his servants to him and gave each servant a bag of money. (To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.v 15) Notice each was given an amount according to his ability. Nothing more or less than he could handle.
Each servant took what his master gave him and did with the money what he thought the master would want him to do. (The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.vs 16-18)
When the master returned he asked the servants to give an account of what they did with the money. The first two servants doubled the money making their master happy. (“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’vs 21,23) The third servant came to his master with the one bag of money he had been given. The master was not happy.(“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!“ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. vs 26a,28) The first two servants did what they were able with the money and it multiplied. The third did nothing with the money except bury it and gave back to the master exactly what he had been given.
How often do we do that? Do we take what God gives us and use it to grow so we have more to give to Him and others? Or do we do nothing and therefore, have nothing more to give back to Him or to give to others? Are we making the Lord and others happy or are we concerned only for our own happiness?
Jesus tells us that we are to nurture and grow the faith He has given us so that what we have will become more not just for ourselves but for others. When we do this there are bountiful blessings.
To those who use well what they are given,
even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.
But from those who do nothing,
even what little they have will be taken away.
There are days when my faithfulness is small and seems dry and withered and I feel I have nothing in me to give. Then I am reminded that this is not true and that I am to trust God, and to listen to His voice.
For if we are faithful to the end,
trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed,
we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
All that is needed is a talk with Jesus.
All scripture from NLT
Blessings this day of grace,