Matthew 25:19-25 19Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more. 21His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys. 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more. 23His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
I know, I know, I keep interrupting our study on following Jesus, but today I had this passage running through my spirit! I’m sure I’ve written about this a few times, but it is something we can’t hear enough. For those of you who don’t know, the biggest struggle I had growing up and even later in life was dealing with rejection and feelings of inferiority. I was never pretty enough, was never popular enough, didn’t have the right clothes, and blah, blah, blah…… (Thank God for great parents, an inspirational youth leader, an incredible employer and a dear best friend, who were there for me) Everything I did was out of a need for approval, for people to like me, for people to want to be around me, & for people to be happy with me. I made a lot of mistakes because of my own insecurities, and made decisions that truthfully I regret. (Again, thank God for His mercy and grace!) I was driven to be the best at everything I did and when I wasn’t, (because who is really the best at everything?) those old feelings of inferiority were there. Every failed “relationship” equaled rejection. My life was ordered by other’s approval.
THEN one beautiful day (not literally cause it was dreary and cold outsideJ) driving home from my parents house, I made the decision to rededicate my life to God. Everything instantly became better, right? Not so much. Just because I had given my life back to God, didn’t mean that I had given up my need for approval, or that I didn’t feel rejection or insecure. I think I probably just didn’t trust God with my whole heart and my whole life. A few years later I did give Him everything, and since that time have disciplined my mind and my heart, and my emotions, keeping them in check and filtering my thoughts through the Word. When rejection tries to creep in I go to Proverbs 18:24 which tells me there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and as it says in Hebrews 13:5 for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ([relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] When those feelings of inferiority try to rear their ugly head, I look to Philippians 4:13 which tells me 13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am [self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. And Romans 11:29 says 29For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] I don’t listen to what my mind says, unless it lines up with what God says in His Word.
Anytime I’m tempted to think I need someone else’s stamp of approval, I remember what today’s passage says, and that I just want to hear Jesus tell me “Well done!” What you do for an audience of One, will undoubtedly end up blessing others. However, when Jesus is your focus and the reason you do what you do, there is an eternal reward far greater than the approval of man- the approval of your Heavenly Father.