“Is it better to be Bieber or a 15 year-old girl?” The group of high school students I was speaking to this morning were curious to know where this talk was going. Because I have teen-aged boys I knew that including Bieber in my talk would be entertaining!
I have not followed Bieber’s career closely, but the recent news headlines would lead us to believe that he is representative of the part of culture that is self-indulgent, fad-chasing, brash, rebellious and irresponsible. Unless something changes, this is the type of legacy he will be leaving behind.
I explained to the audience that, according to Jesus in Matthew 25, each of us have been entrusted with ‘talents’ that we will be held accountable for. The talents in the parable are representative of everything we have been given, including our resources, personalities, networks and strengths. Those who do nothing positive with their talents face dire consequences because the talents that belonged to the Master were squandered.
On the other hand, those who do something constructive with their talents are rewarded because they honoured the Master through their efforts. These are ones who seek to please the Master through always looking for opportunities to leverage what they have been given to give Him a return on his investment. This is where the 15 year old girl comes in.
Last year, after speaking at a church service, a girl in her teens came and stood at our child sponsorship table. In front of her were pictures of children from 26 of the world’s poorest nations. As she looked into their faces she wept. And wept. In fact, she stood there weeping for so long we did not know what to do. She was not a product of an entitlement culture. She was a product of the culture of heaven! She was expressing a Jesus-centered, other-focused world view. That day she decided to change the life a little one that she never met. Her act of love was unforgettable.
According to Jesus in Matthew 25, those who invest, add to and multiply their talents get a rich reward from the Master. He is so good, generous, playful and purposeful that He is willing to give us something of His own so that we can make our mark on the world.
Each day we decide what that mark will be.