What is the biblical meaning of success? Am I a “two-talent” or “five-talent” person? How do I avoid the “quarter-life crisis”? What is my calling?
Are these questions you’ve asked? You’re not alone.
Since the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics’ launch in 2011, these are some of the top questions being asked by Christians we encounter, whether they are 22, 42 or 62 years old.
Jesus’s parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is a key biblical passage that answers these questions in a way that applies to our everyday work. From the parable, we learn that God has called us to eagerly grow the talents and resources he has given us for the purpose of advancing his kingdom and bringing him glory. We’re not to bury our talents, and we’re not even to half-heartedly invest them. We’re to aggressively grow them to honor him.
What does this look like in your own life? If your talents are currently buried, why are they?
The parable also teaches us not to be discouraged by comparing the talents we have been given with those of others who have been given more or different talents. God doesn’t measure success by worldly means. His reward in this parable is the same for all God’s faithful stewards, whether they were given two or five talents. Each is given the invitation to “Enter into the joy of your master.”
Isn’t that something you long to hear from the Lord?
In his book, How Then Should We Work, Hugh Whelchel writes that this biblical concept of success was one of five key principles that were integral to understanding the meaning of his work in the business arena. Since the release of his book in 2012, this is a topic Hugh has returned to frequently. His latest e-book, Monday Morning Success: How Biblical Stewardship Transforms Your Work, takes a closer look at the parable of the talents and has been downloaded by thousands of people.
With the overwhelming response to this particular concept, the Institute is seeking to reach a broader audience through another platform, the YouVersion’s The Bible App. Starting today, more than 180 million people who have downloaded the app on their smartphone will have access to a new 5-day reading plan called, “The Biblical Meaning of Success.” The reading plan draws from some of our strongest content from the IFWE blog as well as our video library, including the “Freedom to Flourish” and “Freedom” videos.
Here’s an overview of the 5-day IFWE reading plan:
- Called to Work While We Wait – an exploration of the cultural mandate in Genesis 1.
- Lies About Success – a comparison of worldly success to biblical success.
- Not Our Own – how are gifts are given to us for the purpose of serving God not our own selfish desires.
- Stewardship in Community – how stewardship of our resources takes places best in community.
- Stewardship and Calling – an exploration of our primary calling to Christ and our secondary callings to family, community, church, and vocation.
If you’ve been with us for a while, we hope that you are familiar with some of these ideas already! Would you join us in praying that this content would give rich meaning to those studying God’s word through The Bible App?
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of YouVersion’s The Bible App platform.
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