Should I pass up a promotion? How do we ensure that we’re using our potential?
Q. I’m comfortable where I am, and I’m not looking for any new challenges. Although I do see problems in the management ranks that I know I could solve, ambition for position or money is not what God wants us to pursue. I don’t want to get stuck in the hassle of politics in management. So, I enjoy where I am; I don’t want all that responsibility and attention. – Frank
A. On the surface, Frank sounds like a humble man who is content where he is, and isn’t tempted by position or money. On the other hand, Frank may have allowed himself to become complacent by not taking full advantage of his talents for the greater well-being of people around him. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins addresses this danger by saying, “Few people attain great lives, in large because it is just so easy to settle for a good life” (p. 1). We settle for pleasant, comfortable lives, avoiding the greatness we’ve been called to in building God’s kingdom. Collins says that good is the enemy of great. This is exactly what Christ teaches in the parable of the talents. The master rewards the servants who took a chance, invested their talents and multiplied wealth; but admonishes the servant who buried his one talent because he was afraid to risk losing it. Christ calls him lazy and wicked. Likewise, God admonishes us for not investing in the talents he’s provided us to build his kingdom.
While he believes he is being good and humble, Frank may actually be neglecting God’s call. Frank could do much more in serving others by taking a position of greater responsibility, but he’s afraid because it is outside his comfort zone, and he doesn’t want to lose the comfort he has established.
Are you living up to God’s expectations? You might ask yourself the following questions to reflect on how God may be calling you:
• Are you focused primarily on maintaining your comfortable life; afraid to try something new?
• Have you been blessed with gifts or talents that you are not using or investing in serving others?
• Do you realize that your gifts and talents are not yours, but they’re God’s, and you have responsibility to invest them as God would?
• Do you pray daily to align your motives and desires with God’s expectations?