January 24, 2022
By Gina Padilla
Have you ever heard the phrase: “To whom much is given, much is required?” Maybe it was said to you during a fundraiser, and you felt the nudge to reach in your pocket to help missionaries, children with cancer or hurricane victims.
While I believe we should be generous with our blessings and help the less fortunate, I also believe there may be another meaning in that verse.
As believers, our knowledge of God grows as we deepen our walk with Him. When we spend time with Him, He reveals truths to us, and we grow in spirit. We all mature as believers at different rates. We could be in the faith 20 years and never move past the salvation stage (which is incredibly sad) or we could be fairly new believers who are actively seeking God and have matured our faith.
Regardless of where we are spiritually, we never “arrive.” I think there is a profound reason that God did not create Adam and Eve as babies. They were adults and His precious children just as we are regardless of our age. But spiritually, we need to think of ourselves as toddlers. Just as toddlers don’t know the danger a staircase can hold; we don’t know the danger we can fall into when we let go of our Heavenly Father’s guiding hand.
As we grow spiritually and continue to mature as Christians, the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) should be more visible in us. As we allow Christ to live through us, our fruit should be apparent to all who interact with us. Our old sinful self has died, and we are made new in Christ (1 Corinthians 5:17).
So, when that person (usually the one closest to us) grates on our last nerve, and we find ourselves wanting to lash out, we need to remember that “To whom much is given, much is required.”
This may mean asking for forgiveness even though you feel you did nothing wrong. It means holding your tongue and not spewing out hurtful words however true they might be. It means not pouting the entire day. It means sucking it up and making amends even though you still want to be mad. In these weak moments, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to do His work through us. God’s power shines brightest in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) when we let go of our egos and let Him work.
If you are the oldest of your siblings, you are probably familiar with this. I’m sure you heard your parents say many times: “I don’t care who started it. You are the oldest. You know better.” And if you’re a parent you’ve probably said this to your kids.
If you are the believer or the more mature believer, guess what? You’re the oldest. You know better. God has given us much. He chose us, loved us and saved us. He died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). God didn’t wait for us to get it together before He stepped in and saved us. He loved first (1 John 4:19). As believers it’s our responsibility to emulate Christ and demonstrate His love to a hurting world.
- Don’t strike back in anger.
- Turn the other cheek.
- Hold your tongue.
- Be merciful.
- Walk away.
Please understand, I’m not saying to be a doormat. Jesus was many things including humble, wise, generous and kind, but He was never a doormat. He spoke the truth, but He always spoke in love.
As we grow in faith through prayer and staying in God’s Word, let those around us see our growth by the fruit we are producing. Let the circumstances that made us react in anger before now be mere thoughts that barely touch our mind and as our walk deepens may those thoughts never even cross over the threshold of our minds.
If the people around us cannot see changes in us after we become believers — we’re doing it wrong. We will make mistakes, but through God’s grace we will learn and keep moving forward.
For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.Luke 12:48 NIV
Photo Credit: Ales Maze