Worshippers as compared with doers.

In doing God’s work there is no failure. There is no need for the consideration of volume, or publicly commendable contributions. It is not about numbers, or the magnitude of what is achieved, but about the attitude. We can all not be like any of the professionals acclaimed to have done well in society. Each individual is evaluated according to whatever was given by the life provider, whether making sense to others or not.

Some people might have been created to just say, “good morning” to other people. That is just as sufficient as being able to preach sermons that cause millions to be converted. The enabler is the one who takes credit, after all. This life is about being thankful for the little talent that could be utilized, under limited resources. Just as there is no need to give excuses, based on limited resources.

Some people could be excellent at sending messages of goodwill to other people. After noticing that those other people seem not interested or appreciative, the person gives up. That is where the problem arises. Nothing should be done for the purpose of receiving praises from human beings, but from God.

Other humans should not be in the equation of what God individually gives to each of those He provides with life. Each person is accountable to God as if other people do not exist. A failing society is comprised of those invalidating themselves, imagining that they would not be of any value to society.

In other words, let us consider millions of people, all blaming the state president for not providing trucks to remove garbage. Going through high-density areas, one can see mounds of uncollected garbage. Some of the garbage might simply require burning, rather than transporting to some dumping area.

The location might be bursting with young people, who spend most of their time, simply chatting to one another, or drinking bronco stuff. The exchange of communication would always be about how the current government has failed.

They would not even be willing to take responsibility that the existent government would have been installed by them. If those voted into offices are unable to produce, who is to blame, if not the voters, who actually voted them into power?

For instance, an active local councillor, or aspiring councillor, could coordinate the local youths to attend to cleaning up the environment. This could require an hour of dedicated youths, per day, seeking to ensure that the area in which they live is civilized. Unfortunately, some of those youths can be found not able to clean up their own living rooms.

If we have millions of youths, unable to contribute anything in an environment, that means those people are not God’s product. The nation can be said to be dead, although with counterproductive activities. Each member of the youth is answerable to God, as long as alive. Such youths are not answerable to the governing authorities, but to the one who created them.

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:14-28 NIV).

This fascinating parable shows a group of individuals, entrusted with some treasure. They were expected to produce profit out of such investment. The focus is on the one who had received one, who decided to do nothing about it. There is no reason given, as to why the guy decided not to do anything.

Without adequate information, we can only speculate reasons. Why could the one-talented fellow not do what the ten-talented fellow did, for instance? The first assumption could be that the fellow thought a single talent was insignificant. Millions of our young people could also be entertaining similar sentiments.

They assume that their little contributions cannot make much difference. Such reasoning appears innocent, but Jesus showed that this costs livingness. One talent did not require as much effort as required by the one with ten. Managing one talent cannot be as cumbersome when compared to managing several talents.

Therefore, his problem might have been the case of invalidating the talent, not himself, necessarily. He may have looked at the magnitude coming from the one with ten talents and assumed that he would do likewise when given more.

These are the people wishing to be granted loans, before starting on workable projects. Should anyone make that mistake, they would blow that money up, within a short period and come back for the next. In Zimbabwe, there is a classic case of the indigenous farming story, after the compulsory acquisition of land from white farmers. Such investments were unreasonable.

God looks at the attitude, more than the volume of what one is capable of. We all come from different backgrounds and we all have different abilities. It takes the provider of natural skills to know in detail, what any person is capable of doing, at any given time. The measure of what is entrusted to any person is adequately sufficient for the person concerned.

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NIV).

God provides what any person would be capable of handling, at any given time. Any person who is alive lives as God pleases. The person would not live a second after God decides to terminate his life. Therefore, each individual ought to live as though he would be the only one privileged to be alive.

Imagine that widow, watching the rich giving their pompous donations. She could have concluded that her donation would not make a difference. But she made all the effort to give the little she had. She did not even expect commendation, considering the apparent insignificance of her donation. But she got thrown into confusion when Jesus highlighted that her gift was greater than everyone else.

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4 NIV).

The attitude of the widow was different from the attitude of the one-talent-holder, who got disqualified. His talent was given to the productive person with ten talents. This had nothing to do with favouritism, but a business principle, suggesting investing where there would be productivity.

The second assumption is that the fellow got gripped with envy. The common problem with humanity is always trying to compare what one has with others. Most people live the lives of different personalities. They impersonate successful people, imitating everything they do.

They hate themselves, to the extent of pretending to be white, even though black. In other words, they seek to advance the ideas of other people, rather than their own. They, actually, desire that no one from their own people succeeds. Unfortunately, they receive praises from the people they idolize. Such praised heroes take advantage of their stupidity.

It is unnecessary to envy other people’s talents. But to diligently do something about one’s own talent. This requires not wasting time examining other people’s achievements, but behaving like a widow, commended ahead of other givers. This assumption is premised on self-invalidation, thereby envying other people’s achievements.

The third and last assumption is that the fellow may have been gripped with idolatry. It is always fascinating to observe those spending time praising and worshipping God, but not doing anything to change the environment. Industrial parks have been converted to worshipping halls.

There are people who feel blessed when praising and worshipping God, rather than doing anything beneficial to others. The utterances of such praises are similar to the one-talented fellow: ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ (Matthew 25:24-25 NIV).

The words sound good, as coming from worshippers. Indeed, God is a hard man, harvesting where nothing was sown. Nothing is impossible with God. However, in this parable, Jesus intends to show that God should not be assumed as gripped with ego, as ordinary humans do. God is not impressed by such empty praises.

During Mugabe’s reign, in Zimbabwe, praise-singers easily got promoted. Those were rewarded with whatever was necessary to keep them happy and continuing with praise-singing. The actual performers, seeking to advance what was good, but not praising the leader, got demoted and lost their influence in government.

Corruption was tolerated, as long as the culprits were able to say nice words that pleased the leader. All this resembles the behaviour of the one-talented guy who sought to apply such praises to a principled master. The parable shows that God is not interested in being worshipped, necessarily. But he is interested in doing what one is capable of doing.

Yes. God is great. Such greatness is manifested in the talented person producing results. The question is centred on what the person does to show appreciation of the talent given to him. This, therefore, reveals that true worshippers have got nothing to do with eulogizing God, but what they can do with talents given to them.

God has given talents to each of the millions of our young people in the environment. It is unnecessary to stare at one another, wondering what should be done. Each should ask oneself what God expects one to do with whatever talent the person holds. Such respective talent holders have got nothing to do with the opinions of other people, as owing everything to God.

Each is directly answerable to God. An evil governing system might be making it difficult to apply one’s talents. But talent-holders are not answerable to an evil governing system, but to the guarantor: “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

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