The Obligation - 'Tribes' Review pt. 7
"Don't settle. We have so much at our disposal: money, resources, food, clothing, housing, safety. People say we have an opportunity to do great things because of this, no, we have an obligation. We are obligated to do better with the abundance that we have than people think is possible. Ask yourself, if money, resources, time, technology, expertise were not an issue, what would you do? Then make it happen."
How does that quote make you feel?
It makes me feel lazy. I've been given so much in my life and I feel like I've done quite a bit with it, but obligation is a heavy word. Do I feel obligated to do my best with what I've been given? Honestly, no. I'm used to the upper-middle class lifestyle, doing pretty much anything I want when I want because I can. There is no urgency to do something great, only an urgency to be comfortable. And coming off a week of missions work in Texas to people who have way less than me in terms of affluence, I have to say that I'm conflicted.
How do I reconcile my lifestyle of comfort and ease with this:
The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good andfaithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
What I take from this is that we are to do the best we can with what God has given us, be it money, skills, character traits, etc. So yes, we do have an obligation to be faithful to what God has blessed us with. We have an obligation to do our best, to "do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Col. 3.17)
This is a whole lot easier in theory than in practice.
How can we encourage each other in this endeavor?
[part 7 in a series on 'Tribes' by Seth Godin]