Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Law Of Use

I often speak and write about Laws. I do this for a number of reasons. First, laws are universal. They apply equally to everyone. They are no respecter of persons. Everyone who jumps up will come down - the colour of his skin is immaterial neither is his ability to speak “conc” tongues. Second, laws are inviolable. No one can violate them without suffering the consequences. It takes a higher law to break a lower one. Thirdly, laws are immutable. They do not change. They hold true for ever and are the same anywhere, anyday, and any time. This simply means that laws gives predictability to events. If you follow a law strictly, you are guaranteed of the effect/reward.

I recently read again a story in the holy creed that amazed me. It is often referred to as The Parable of Talents. It opened my eyes to several points on what I call The Law of Use. May I please share it with you?

A certain man gave each of his three servants an amount of money, “each according to his ability” (Mt 25:15). This man (referred to as The Master) knew their ability and gave them opportunity anyway. His basic expectation to them all was to do business with it and make profit. The 1st one, who had five bags of money went and traded with it and got five more. The 2nd one, who had two bags, did the same thing and got another two. The 3rd servant, who got one bag, dug a hole in the ground and hid his mater’s bag of money there. Later, the master had his servants give account of what they had done with the resources at their disposal. In the same vein like this story, God has given us all something (ability, resource, insight, revelation), and He holds us accountable for what we do with it. One day, He will ask us to give an account.

The 1st two servants gave good accounts of what they had done with their talents and how they had made a 100% profit with it. The account given by the 3rd servant is worth examining.

He said, “Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.” (Mt 25:24-25).

Take note of a couple of points

- The servant claimed he acted out of fear of the master; he placed emphasis on master’s perceived hardness. He was shifting blames and justifying his actions.

- I suggest two motives: fear (servant afraid for his own well-being), or laziness (little wonder the master did not give him much responsibility even from the beginning).

- If servant was afraid but aggressive, he would have done whatever was necessary to earn a profit; but he was lazy, so he simply tried to protect himself.

- Master’s evaluation: “You wicked and lazy servant!” It is wicked to leave resources at your disposal unused! Hmmm……are you wicked too? What are you doing with all the untapped resources at your disposal? I think it’s bearable to be called lazy. But wicked? That’s not a good title!

- Quantity wasn’t as big a problem as laziness: “You should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest”. It would just have been okay if he made an extra bag of money for his master. He would have made 100% profit too. I am sure that even 50% profit would have showed some efforts and would have been rewarded accordingly. Who wouldn’t be excited with a 50% profit, even in today’s world?

May I just summarize all these points simply? "Use it or lose it!"

God entrusts us all with resources so we can advance His kingdom and He would hold us accountable for those resources. If we do not use those resources effectively, we will lose them.

The Law of Use also applies to our day to day life. It governs the growth of individuals, corporations and nations. If you use the resources available to you, you will improve those resources and also develop new ones. Some other ideas/action points around the everyday life are -

*Exercise your muscles and they become stronger.
*Submit yourself to training and you improve your abilities.
*Read Bible and pray and you will grow spiritually.
*Exercising 5 minutes once a month won’t do much for you; exercising 15mins daily for 6 months will work “miracles”
*Invest money at 8% for one week, have little to show for it; invest it for 1 to 2 years and you get a good return on investment.

Even with a small, insignificant beginning, applying the Law of Use can produce great results.

You are lifted!

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