What’s in Your Bag?

What's in Your Bag - jenniferajanes.com

What’s in Your Bag?

If you’re anything like me, you hear the words “It’s not fair!” come out of your children’s mouths 2,348 times a day. (Well, maybe not quite that many, but it’s a lot! ;) ) For a couple of years,  have told my children that whoever told them life was fair lied to them. Because it’s not. Life isn’t fair. And, if I’m going to be honest, I struggle with these “fairness” thoughts myself at times.

If I’m honest with myself, the “It’s not fair!” comments usually come from comparing ourselves with others. Life is only unfair if we look at someone else’s life and see that theirs looks better than ours. This comparison leads to being discontent, feeling sorry for ourselves, frustration and disappointment, and so many other negative feelings. This is why I have tried over and over to get my children past the “it’s not fair” stuff and move on. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes not.

But today, at church, our student pastor gave me a new mantra to use in helping my children (and myself) to combat the “unfair” feelings. His sermon text was Matthew 25:14-30. This passage is also known as The Parable of the Talents.

And he finally brought the point of the story together in a way I could understand:

What you have doesn’t matter as much as what you do with what you have.

The servants each had a different amount of money in their bags. The servant with only one bag wasn’t punished for what he didn’t have. He was punished for what he didn’t do.

We are each given different items to go into the bag that makes up who we are. We are each accountable for what we do with what’s in our own bag!

You will never be held accountable for what’s in someone else’s bag.

Does this change how you see that passage—and more importantly, how you see your life?

From now on, when my children and I are tempted to compare ourselves to others, I’ll remind us all that we’re not responsible for what’s in their bags.

We need to take a good, long look at what’s in our own bags, pray and ask God what He would have us to do with that to bring Him glory, and live the lives God gave us, not someone else.

What are you doing with what’s in your bag?

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3 Responses to What’s in Your Bag?

  1. Kerith Stull says:

    Sometimes I feel like my bag is kinda like Mary Poppins’ carpet bag. Everything I pull of it is way bigger than I ever thought was possible to fit. And He just wants us to use what we have in our bag for Him!

  2. Jackie Masek says:

    I’m learning to quit kvetching about what I don’t have and to do the best I can with what I do have. Thank you for these great words. You give me courage!

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