Monday, December 6, 2010

Coin, what coin?!

"Master, I knew you to be a hard man..."

Jesus told difficult parables. I find his thoughts hard to unravel. Even with all the teaching I've received and my fat ESV study bible, Jesus seems to be intentionally obtuse.

In the parable of the talents, the "wicked and slothful" servant was ruled by a perception of his master as a "hard man, reaping where he did not sow and gathering where he scattered no seed." My commentary says that this was a misperception that led to this servants laziness and irresponsibility, but I find it notable that the servant was not repremanded for his perception of his master. He was repremanded for what he did with his talent.

Honestly, I don't know what to make of this. But my guess is that my commentary is right. If Jesus is talking about the kingdom, the king figure is surely God and it was the perception of the servant that lead to his disobedience and his untimely and not-so-pretty end.

Could this be a lesson for us today? I think it is. I so often think of God as miserly, mean and spiteful. I have to admit that his parables don't do to much to make me think otherwise. For it's my perception of God that determines my interpretations.

I find myself much like the wicked and slothful servant. Thinking of God in ways that are not only depressing but are flat out wrong!

As AW Tozer, GK Chesterton or CS Lewis once said somewhere, the most important thing about a man is what he believes about God. That's precisely why I'm extremely thankful how God's reshaping my thinking.

I have a ton of gratitude for the God of scripture. His kindness and ear for those who mourn their sin, for the spiritually destitute, the poor in spirit and for those who simply haven't got a clue, is drawing my thinking in more appropriate directions. I'm finding God again. And finding more of the real God.

My prayer is that I won't be like the wicked and slothful servant whose disservice began with his misperception of the character of his master. He had a slanderous heart. We seem to be born with it.

God is really, really patient. To take servants like me and patiently illustrate his faithfulness, true justice and love in the life lesson of life, is truly astounding. I think that when I get to heaven's gates, I'll shed a ton of these missperceptions, but my desire is to shed a few now, so that I can live.

I believe that I've been made alive in Christ. So it follows that living is a good idea when your alive! I can only do so inasmuch as I think about God in ways that honor him.

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