Christians are to stand out and make a difference, in a positive way, of course. But are we doing it? Are we distinct, in any way, or divergent in the manner in which we run our lives or our businesses from the way the world runs their lives and businesses? Or do we just blend in with everyone else?
At a young age, Jesus declared, “I must be about My Father’s business,” (Luke 2:49 NKJV) in other words, the affairs of His Father, all those matters that pertain to the activities and establishment of the Kingdom.
If Jesus’ mission involved all that pertained to the working of His Father’s Kingdom, then we need to learn to function in, take care of, and promote those same concerns. What kind of “business partners” or “sales reps” are we?
So, let’s look at it as a parable…
God is the Owner, the Proprietor, the Manufacturer, and the Repair Department of His establishment. His Son ran the business for a while. However, He had to go on a long business trip and, in His absence, He transferred His authority and power to His beloved by signing the company policy over to her in blood. Leaving her in charge as the administrator of all His work, He commissioned her to act in His Name and invest on His behalf.
Using her authority, the Bride is to run the Kingdom’s business, to watch the store, to be in charge of maintenance, to supervise the workers, to keep an eye on overhead, to replenish inventory, and to do all according to the Owner’s business plan that the Kingdom business might grow.
How then is the Bride living up to her duty and responsibility? How is she spending her time while waiting for her Beloved Bridegroom to appear? Is she equipping herself? Is she a good manager of the Kingdom’s business? Well, let’s see.
Her schedule is so full of forty million activities that she doesn’t have time to read her handbook with her job description, and, consequently, she doesn’t even know how to behave on the job.
She is negligent to exercise her authority and to uphold the duties of her position. Her management skills are less than desirable, as she fails to keep an eye on her salespeople, for some are no longer persons of ethical character.
She lost the ability to manage the cash register and debt proliferates from her multiplicity of credit cards. Her advertising lacks appeal and promotes her own name. Her public relations people sometimes use questionable tactics, turning others away from the benefits of the business.
Her business practices are no different from anyone else’s. No longer seen as upright in character, she looks the same, talks the same, and acts the same as her competitors, who just laugh at her hypocrisy.
Her job is in jeopardy, for she is slowly forfeiting her business rights and she doesn’t even realize what she is losing. She is lax in asserting her influence, so the opposition flourishes while she is out on a coffee break.
Will the tactics of her biggest competitor cause the company to go bankrupt before she sits up and takes notice? Will he seize the property, rendering the business inoperable?
What is she to do? It’s simple. She needs to follow the Manufacturer’s Instruction Manual! The Owner left it for her to read. Why doesn’t she follow it?
After telling one of His parables, Jesus asked Peter, “Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time?” (Matt. 24:45 AMP)
The Lord asks the same of each of us, “Are you a wise and faithful servant of the Lord? Have I given you the task of managing My household, to feed my children day by day? Blessings on you if I return and find you faithfully doing your work. I will put such faithful ones in charge of everything I own!” (Matt. 24:45-47 TLB)
On the other hand, Jesus said that the “servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes… 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 12:47, 48b NKJV)
And this servant’s penalty for being unprepared? God will “appoint him his portion with the hypocrites,” (Matt. 24:51b NKJV) for “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” (1 Cor. 4:2 NKJV)
Are you faithful and daring enough to stand out as a different Christian?