Good and Faithful
It is no secret that young adults today have more opportunities and avenues to accomplish goals or fulfill dreams than prior generations ever had. Access to instant information, instant connections, and massive audiences are just a few. Today’s young adults are entrepreneurs, creatives, and make-it-happeners.
We are all in various places fulfilling those dreams. Some of you reading this now are on the cusp of taking that first step. Others are right in the middle of it and you are just rockin’ it. These dreams range from a dream job, a creative endeavor, an educational accomplishment, or a ministerial calling.
I recently made the decision to head back to school and finally finish my degree. It was a tough decision. There were all these factors and other commitments to consider—my relationship with God, my family’s needs, and work and ministry commitments. In my prayer and pondering, I started to think about the end goal. No, not the end of the degree program and how it benefits me but the end—when Christ returns. Can I pursue my dream and still be good and faithful?
I’m referencing the Parable of the Talents. In Matthew 25:14-30, the master, an example of Christ, leaves three servants with various amounts of talents (money or goods) and takes off for a season. Upon his return he asks his servants for a report on how they used the talents they were entrusted with. Two of the three servants took what they were entrusted with and did good with them. The master tells each of them, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” The remaining servant sat on what he was entrusted with. Buried it. The master calls him wicked and slothful and sends him to outer darkness. Whoa.
As a born again Apostolic, we are entrusted with certain things. Probably things we don’t think much about either: His Spirit, His Word, the care of His church, and we are stewards of His money.
So thinking back to that question I asked myself: God, will the pursuit of my dream get in the way of being good and faithful with what You’ve entrusted me? In my practical, process-oriented mind, I thought about some ways to ensure my dream doesn’t step on being good and faithful.
Talk to God. Eventually, after we have pressed snooze on our seventh alarm, we must get out of bed. But next time, instead of standing up, just roll out of bed and onto your knees. In the pursuit of your dream, start your day talking to God. Put Him first and build that relationship.
Let God talk. As a teen I always wanted to hear the voice of God. I never had the booming God-voice experience, but when I open the Bible, God talks. The Bible isn’t called the Word of God because it sounds cool. It’s just that: God’s words. Through the Bible God speaks peace and gives direction.
Be at church. Surprisingly, this can be tough for some of us. Our jobs, our classes, that deadline, the rare opportunities all become reasons for us to be absent. Missing church is a slippery slope. At church we get that recharge after a murky week. At church our end goal is made clear again.
Be the Church. The thought and care of others is essential to Christian life. In our daily lives we need to be devoted to one another, honor one another, be kind and compassionate to one another, encourage one another, and love one another. Every day you will be presented with an opportunity to BE the church.
Give. Somehow this myth got out that young adults are broke. Those thrice weekly $5.25 Iced Venti Caramel Machs add up. God said in Malachi 3, “…Prove me….” He is referring to our money. God is saying “Try me! Pay your tithes and watch Me open My heavenly windows and pour out blessings!” For most of us, pursuit of our dreams costs money. Tuition, travel costs, equipment, tools, gear, etc. Pursuing dreams without God’s blessing is a dangerous place to be.
I’ve recognized that if I ever let my dream overshadow God’s, I’m at risk of making my life a nightmare. God’s entrusted me with certain things and I need to do good and be faithful with them. Some of our dreams are just doing good. Doing good things. But bluntly, our creative endeavors and career choices will never be as important as our relationship with God or fulfilling His purpose. Fulfilling dreams is an exciting thing to be doing. Along the way we’ll have setbacks, wins, highs, and lows. It’s an adventure. We have the end goal in mind. And it can drive us.
Now take that drive and apply it to the big picture. Zoom out. Make His purpose more important than your dream and watch that dream flourish and succeed. And when the Master returns, we can be sure to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Mike has been the young adult leader at South Bay Pentecostal Church in San Diego since 2010 under Pastor Art Hodges, III. He serves in various capacities as a young adult Sunday school teacher, home group leader, Bible quiz coach, and community events coordinator. Michael is an administrative maven for a local public agency. He’s a voracious reader of periodicals and long reads, a Sudoku enthusiast, and coffee consumer. He lives in Chula Vista, California with his wife Rachel and daughter Olive.