I’m going to be honest here, and I don’t mean to come across as judgmental, but I simply do not understand people who do not have ambition. I don’t understand it when people settle for mediocrity when they have the potential to do so much more.
Perhaps this is just my Type A personality coming out. Maybe I’m just biased towards believing in the importance of ambition because I am by nature a very ambitious person.
However, as Christians, it seems to me that our testimony to the world ought to be one where we do our best in all areas of life. For example, when we go to work, we ought to try to do our job well. When we interact with people, we do our best to act with kindness and charity.
Let’s consider the passage in Matthew 25 where Jesus tells the parable of the talents. Essentially, a master provided his servants with various amounts of money. Most of the servants worked hard and doubled the money for their master. However, one servant was only given one talent. This is the least amount of money that was given to anyone in this parable, but the servant was afraid and went and buried it. He did not do anything with the money he was given.
When it was time to tell his master what he had done, this was the response:
But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 25:26-30, NKJV).
This parable is obviously not only talking about making wise financial investments. This is a parable where Jesus begins by saying that the kingdom of God is like this. In other words, there is an expectation that even people who don’t have very much are expected to do what they can with what they have.
Notice the words of master here. Even depositing the money in the bank might not have doubled the money as the other servants had done, but it would have been a way that the servant could have been productive with what he had been given.
Consider that in our own lives then. We are different people. Some people are remarkably talented, and other people are more average. That might seem harsh, but it is reality in my opinion.
We have been given gifts by God just like each of these servants was given an initial investment of varying amounts. We ought to do what we can with what we have been given. We do not want to be the unprofitable servant. We’re going to talk more about ambition this week.