“….unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required….” (Lk. 12:48)
This past week, we attended my Grandpa’s funeral. It was more of a celebration than a funeral service as we remembered the life he had lived, and the love he had for God and others.
As many shared their memories of him, one memory kept coming to my mind. I was probably seven or eight, spending a couple weeks of the summer with my grandparents. A typical little girl, I was constantly forgetting (or neglecting) to turn off the bathroom light. I remember my Grandpa taking me aside and saying, “Nicole, with privilege comes responsibility! You have the privilege to use electricity, and to use this bathroom, and you have a responsibility to turn off the light when you’re finished!” To be honest, I didn’t really appreciate, or pay that much attention to, what he was telling me. But he continued to repeat this admonition often, not just that summer, but at various occasions, and about different areas of irresponsibility or ingratitude in my life.
Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, as I’ve grown older, his words have stuck with me, and I’ve begun to understand the truth and wisdom behind them. The seeds he planted in a young girl’s mind have finally taken root in my heart. In a society that seems to shirk responsibility in every area of life, I’m thankful for a grandfather who tried diligently to instill this principle in me.
When I think of him, I think of his big Bible, his big cowboy hat, his hearty laugh, and his contagious smile. I also think of how just by being with him, I was always convicted, not by anything he said to me, but just simply by his godly life and consistent bold witness for Christ. I think of his fervent love for the Word of God, for lost souls, and his passion to get the Word of God to everyone he met. He took that responsibility seriously.
As I have been contemplating his life, and the incredible legacy he left to me, I feel very privileged. And I am reminded that with that privilege comes a great deal of responsibility. Here are just a few areas that have come to mind:
- I am privileged to know the Lord as my Savior. I have a responsibility to love Him with all my heart, to serve Him with all my heart, and to share the Gospel with others.
- I am privileged to have the Word of God. I have a responsibility to read it, to love it, to share it, and to live in obedience to it to the best of my ability.
- I am privileged to be a member of a good local church. I have a responsibility to honor the Lord in my church as a member of the body of Christ, to be a good sister in the Lord to those in my church, and to faithfully attempt to do the work of the Lord in and through my church.
- I am privileged to be a wife to a man of God. I have a responsibility to be a help meet for him, and a virtuous woman who brings honor to him and to the Lord.
- I am privileged to be a mother. I have a responsibility to be the mother God designed and desires me to be, and to bring up my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
- I am privileged to be an American. I have a responsibility to be a good citizen, and to make the most of the freedoms I enjoy.
- I am privileged to be blessed with plenty. I am not “rich” by the standards of some, but I lack for nothing. I have a responsibility to be a good steward of what God has placed in my hands, and to use all of my resources in a way that is honoring to Him.
- I am privileged to have been raised in a godly home, and to have a godly heritage. “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” (Ps. 16:6) “…thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.” I have a responsibility to honor those who have invested such good and godly things in my life, and to try to pass the same things on to my children.
There are many more things that I could list, but the theme of each is the same. God has been so good to me. I feel that I am one of those “unto whomsoever much is given”. I am privileged in a multitude of ways. And I don’t ever want to forget that because of that very privilege I have great responsibility, and there “shall be much required.”
There is a certain fear when I stop and meditate on how much God has given me. It is so easy to enjoy the privileges God gives to us, but ignore or shirk the responsibilities they carry with them. I can almost hear my Grandpa’s booming voice reminding me, “Granddaughter, with privilege comes responsibility!”
As this new year begins, I pray that I will never forget the lessons my Grandpa taught me. I pray that I will live each day in the fear of God, that I will be always aware of and grateful for the privileges I have been given, that I will carry out the responsibilities I have been given as well. I pray that I will finish my life in a way that will bring honor to the Lord, and to my godly heritage.