Gold stars. You know what I'm talking about… the little stickers that teachers give out to students when they go above and beyond what's required.
I don't know about you, but when I was a kid I wanted those gold stars. A pass wasn't good enough. I wanted that shiny goodness that would show how hard I had worked and the effort I had put in on a project. It's funny really, that I would value something so silly as a sticker above even my actual mark. But the gold star set you apart. It stuck out, it was clear.
When you got a gold star slapped on your assignment your teacher was effectively saying “You did a good job, I'm proud of you.”
There's something in us that responds to that, isn't there? There's something in us that cries out to be rewarded.
At the core of our being, we want to do a good job, we want to steward well what we have, we want to make others proud.
We want to be noticed.
But what if this desire that is so central to who we are has implications that reach beyond this life and into the next?
Luke 16 shows us that this is true, and that the choices we make in this life affect us in the next life as well. Even if it isn't clear exactly what that looks like, one thing is clear. God is paying attention.
He notices when we steward well what we have. He's proud when we make wise and honouring choices. When we do a good job, he smiles.
Even so, the most beautiful and valuable things in this life pale in comparison to what will exist in heaven. The good news is, when we show ourselves trustworthy with what we have in this life, God will entrust us with so much more in the next life.
Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
Is there something that responds in you when you think of God being proud of you? If you want to pursue that, what can you do today to begin that journey?
Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
Maybe today is the first day you make a choice just because it is the choice you know God would want you to make. What choice are you struggling with that you can hand over to God for the first time?
Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.
You know when you make God proud… and when you don't. How can you become someone new in Christ and be faithful to what God has entrusted you with?
Dear God, please show me how to steward well what you've blessed me with. Show me how to make choices that honour you, and give me the strength to show myself trustworthy with all of your blessings. I want to make you proud in this life, starting today. Help me live each day for you and you alone. Amen.
– by Justin Piercy