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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Wisely invested

I think I am finally learning how to live. I am so excited to be having an opportunity to give. Step 12, “Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.”

I do not think I am now able to give because I am a leader or because I have been one for 12 whole days. It is a result of having taken these steps in my life. It came organically. One day I crossed a line and made it somewhere on the other side of something.

Some people say one should tithe and give because where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. I don’t disagree, but I still spend more on rent than all my other expenses combined. My heart isn’t so set on my apartment. Giving financially is what makes me exorbitantly rich financially. I not only have enough for myself. I have enough for many others. I became rich when I realized I had more than I needed. No matter how much I made, I would always want more for myself unless I gave it away instead. No matter how much I give, I always have enough. But if I do not give, I never have enough. It never fails.

I told you about the Tim Keller quote, forgiveness is when “we absorb the cost ourselves without remuneration.” I have been thinking about this throughout the last two weeks on the lesson on forgiveness in step study. I have decided to make it a concept I can understand. Having lived much of my life surrounded by business owners, I can understand it easier in these terms.

You see, in my understandable analogy, my story goes like this. Before Adam and Eve ate the apple, I had a booming business. It was worth $100 million dollars and growing daily. It had fantastic business practices and the workers all got on well. It never caused me a gray hair. Then there was that apple thing. Bang went $99 million. Then I was born, and life happened. People did what people do. Bang went another $900,000. I was left with $100,000 to invest in my life and change the world. It didn’t seem like much.

I spent years looking around, whining, and saying, “If only….” I spent years not noticing I had an immense amount of capital to invest in the world around me. Slowly over the last two years in Jersey and year and a half at CR, I quit saying, “If only…” I started looking forward. Sometime in the last few weeks, I have decided to invest and rebuild with my $100,000. I can do it confidently because I know the One who gave me the money in the first place has promised to restore me to my former wealth someday. Someday I will live in perfect unity with God and every creature who worships only Him.

I am not sure anyone can understand what I mean to say except me, but it helps me digest “absorbing the cost”. Sometimes I get frustrated by all the road blocks in my life now. My hangups. My phobia of churches and people who work and serve in them. My social awkwardness when meeting new people and being in new situations. But I am learning to focus instead on the $100,000 I have to invest in the wisest ways possible. If I am going to invest it wisely, I am going to have to be willing to be weak publicly and occasionally puke all over the place publicly as well. I cannot invest without being vulnerable. Really, really vulnerable.

Steps 9-12 will extend far into my future, but I am so glad I made it to them!

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ – Matthew 25:14-30

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