Don’t Worry About “Ministry Limitations” Due To N’s

.

Matthew 25:20-23

20 “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your [a]master.’

22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”

.

Christians concerned about how God settles accounts for eternity may have a fear that a narcissist in their life could be limiting them from achieving as much as they “should”.  The parable that Jesus told in Matthew 25 clearly explains that eternal rewards are based on being faithful before God with what we have been given, and not on how “productive” we have been.

.

If you pay careful attention to what Jesus said, even though each slave received different gifting (they were entrusted with different amounts), both slaves received the same reward (“I will put you in charge of many things”) based on the fact that they were faithful with what they had been given (“you were faithful with a few things”), not their absolute results.  This is a big deal – someone who uses 90% of a much smaller opportunity/gifting will receive more reward than someone who uses 50% of a larger opportunity.

.

This principle is seen throughout scripture

.

Luke 21:1-4

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

and

1 Corinthians 7:17-21

17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches……….21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.

.

What this means is that those whose lives are restricted through external circumstances (ie – a narcissist whom you can’t avoid due to God-given responsibilities and who has put you in a box) should focus on faithfulness with the opportunities that they do have to love, honor, and serve God, and not focus on the opportunities which they do not have.  God gives us plenty of opportunities to focus on His main desire for us to love Him and others, and will reward even the smallest of things:

.

Matthew 10:42

42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

.

God gives us many, many opportunities to show love for Him and others in the small things.  This should provide some measure of relief for those who are stressed not only by their dealings with their N, but also from internal pressure to “do more” in serving God.

.

Here is the entire passage in Matthew 25

.

Matthew 25:14-30

14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his [b]master’s money.

19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your [c]master.’

22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money [d]in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

.