BY Abby Flynn
All we have to do is turn on the TV, flip through social media, or take a close look at our own lives to see how different the kingdom of this world is from the kingdom of heaven. Yet can I be honest with you?
I don’t always know what to do when I encounter someone in need. There have been days where I fiddle with my radio and try not to make eye contact with someone who is having a hard time. I’ve always wrestled, going back and forth between dreading an awkward encounter and wanting others to see Jesus in me. Do you ever feel the same?
With our eyes on the wrong kingdom, it’s easy to believe the things that matter are our next promotion or how many influential friends we’re able to collect. But all the while, the clock is ticking. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells two parables. There are ten virgins waiting on the groom and three servants who are given money to invest by their master.
In each story, the virgins and servants are given something of value. For the virgins, it was their lamps, which some brought oil for and others didn’t (Matthew 25:3–4). The master’s servants were given various numbers of talents. Two invested theirs, while one buried his in fear (vv.16–18). Both parables include a time of waiting. Both the groom and master come back when they’re least expected. Ultimately, the virgins who failed to come prepared miss out on the celebration. The servant who didn’t invest what He had lost everything.
Their action, investment, and preparation for the kingdom mattered. The same goes for us.
Friend, what are we doing with the gifts we’ve been given? Are we hiding, afraid of feeling awkward because we don’t know the right thing to do? Do we only think about helping when someone is right in front of us, or when the need feels easy to meet? What if our moments of discomfort are actually opportunities to consider how to share God’s kindness, beyond just the immediate moment? Jesus reminds us in Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”
We don’t know when Jesus will return. But Scripture reminds us there is no time to waste. This gospel we have is the truth our world desperately needs. So what will we do with the time we have?