Accountability; November 26, 2022

Matthew 25:21 “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!'”

I referenced this parable just two days ago because of the parallel between Matthew 13:12 and verse 29 of this chapter. In Matthew 13 Jesus is talking about God’s truth, which is a treasure indeed, and here he is using money to say the same thing. The point is, we are accountable for what God gives us, whether that is tangible or intangible. As this verse says, the rewards for faithfulness are huge, but in both places Jesus says that for the unfaithful person, even what they have already been given will be taken away. That’s scary! We tend to run from accountability, but it’s inescapable. However, rather than focus on the negative, we need to focus on the positive, and nothing could be more positive than God’s faithfulness toward us. Paul quoted what was apparently an early hymn: “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) We don’t need to worry about matching someone else’s performance; the accolade in this verse was repeated exactly in verse 23 for some­one who had been given less than half that given to the person in this verse. The point is very simply to recognize what we have been given and put it to the use God intends for it, whether it be finances, abilities, or whatever. Just as procrastination never makes anything better or easier, trying to run from accountability never succeeds. God is loving and faithful, but He is also holy and just and He does­n’t spoil His children, however many blessings He pours out on us.

Just last night I realized I had really slipped up, failing to recognize that a magazine editor had requested a response as to whether I would accept an article assignment. I realized it as I was preparing to send them the article, well before the deadline for the article itself but well after the deadline for the response. Magazine issues take planning, and my failure to respond may mean that my article won’t be used. Yes, I had some major, legitimate distractions, but a simple “Yes, I’ll write the article” would certainly have taken no time. I too have plenty of room to grow in faithfulness and accountability! I have long felt that the accolade Jesus expressed in this verse was my ultimate goal, but I am frequently reminded that I can’t get there in my own strength and wisdom. However, as Paul wrote the Philippian believers, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) I’m still very much a work in progress, but I’m not to be anxious but rather rest, relax, and rejoice, as my Lord has told me to do.

Father, thank You for this reminder. My interactions with my daughters are pointing out other things I need to correct. Help me be genuinely accountable to You in all areas, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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