By Jacqi Ballough
I knowingly laughed to myself as my son’s piano teacher proclaimed, “He has more energy than the energizer bunny.” Depending on the context of this statement, the meaning could be positive or negative. Thankfully, in this situation, the comment was intended to be a complement as the teacher highlighted fun facts and praise of each student during their recital.
As an aerobic instructor, I too have heard this comment directed toward me and have learned sometimes it means I need to tone it down a bit as my energy was not helping the class but hurting it.
During these times, I have selfishly lost my focus on the needs of those who entrusted me to safely exercise their bodies for God’s glory. At other times, I have received the “energizer bunny” statement as a complement meaning the energy has propelled them on when they were ready to quit.
The difference? In the first scenario, I fell into selfish ambition, whereas in the second instance, I was focused on the people God gave me to help.
In my late twenties, I began praying before I would teach, “Lord give me the eyes to see the needs of these men and women. Show me what exercises they need to fulfill your purposes. Let the focus be on you, and the bodies you gave us for your glory. Take any attempts to compare or allow them to see your light in me.
How we use our energy and gifts that God gave us can be paralleled to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.
The story begins with a man preparing for a trip and gathering three servants to care for his finances while he traveled. (This symbolizes God giving us spiritual gifts to care for His Kingdom.)
Interestingly, the master divided the funds before he left, knowing the amounts each servant could handle well, and trusted them to work with the finances given according to their maximum ability.
Upon his return, he called each to give an account for how the gifts (talents) were used. The servants who multiplied the gifts given and had a heart to please their master were rewarded.
The first two servants were not working for selfish ambition. They immediately wanted to please their master and not only showed gratitude in their attitude conveying thanks for the responsibility given, but multiplied the talents. They received a promotion and party for their faithfulness in working according to their ability for the master’s betterment.
When the third servant went to give an account, he spewed ungrateful criticism onto the master and began justifying his actions with excuses. Let’s just say that it didn’t go well for him.
The moral: Keep your focus on the gifts given, immediately use that gift according to your ability in order to multiply His kingdom, and maintain a heart full of gratitude toward the Master.
“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. And they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away (vs 29).”