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Luke 12:48 Power, Gifts, and Responsibility
Luke 12 47-48
“The servant who knows what his master wants and ignores it, or insolently does whatever he pleases, will be thoroughly thrashed. But if he does a poor job through ignorance, he’ll get off with a slap on the hand. Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities.”
This verse brings to mind the quintessential Spiderman catch phrase “With great power comes great responsibility.” I have three boys so I watch a lot of Spiderman. Basically it is the creed to use what you have been given for good or never waste your gifts.
I use to gloss over this verse all the time. I thought “This verse has no bearing on my life.” I am not super smart, in fact, I have to work at things to learn them correctly. I am not a great painter or singer or leader. I hate being in front of people and I enjoy just staying home. I imagined that I was not given much so I was pretty in the clear when it came to the instructions found in this verse.
Thoughts on this verse
Well, I was wrong. I realized this morning while glossing over these familiar words that this verse went much deeper than intelligence or talents. This verse said gifts. Think about that. The Bible refers to children as a gift. I have four so that is a lot. The Bible refers to salvation as a gift. I am saved. (Got me again.) In Proverbs it refers to finding a good spouse as being a gift from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:14) I have a good husband so there is another gift. Then I got to thinking deeper still. I have been blessed with money in times of hardship. I have been blessed with good relationships with my parents and brothers. I have been given health and hope when my children have been sick.
These are all gifts that, honestly, I take for granted. This past year we were given some bad news concerning our oldest son’s health yet there is medicine available and he is overcoming. Our daughter also struggled with health issues yet when my husband and I prayed for her we were given medicine and right now she is so much better. I have been given another son with autism that at times can stress me out but God has given him an incredibly sweet spirit. Our fourth child has been blessed with abundant health and is never sick. (This is a BIG blessing.)
It seems that even the hard times are gifts. That is something to take in for sure. They are the times that teach us compassion, mercy, and gratefulness. So let me get this straight. If I have been given these opportunities to learn these things then I must teach them to others like my children. If others have shown me compassion and forgiveness then I must show forgiveness and compassion to others. This is a lot to take in.
I think that the gifts the Bible was really referring to were more spiritual and furthermore now this verse applies to me. What does that mean? It means now I have a great responsibility to give these gifts to others. I am not the ignorant one that the verse speaks of. I will be held responsible for what I have been given.
I have to admit that when I realized this I was a little bummed. I know that sounds absurd but it meant that I had to actually do something with what I have been given. I could no longer use the cop out of not smart or not talented enough.
In conclusion I think as we enter in to the New Year one must look back on the blessings and the hardships of the year before and choose. Will we take for granted everything we have learned and sit on our bum and do nothing? Or will we give what we have been given? Will we be known for our forgiveness, our compassion, and our hope?
Now every time my kids turn on Spiderman I will be reminded of this verse. Maybe that is why they call him amazing.