Blessed… You Can’t Always Do Safe

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them.  To one he gave five valuable coins, and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant’s ability. Then he left on his journey. “After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more.But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’ “The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’ “Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t shown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’ “His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed?  In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest.  Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins.  Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them.  Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’ “People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth (Matthew 25:14-30, Common English Bible).

The CEO was to go on a sabbatical leave. Before going on leave, he one managers in charge of the outside sales. Another he left in charge of the telemarketing department. The third he left the sales counter in his headquarters.

The first manager set new sales goals for all outside sales reps. As a result, he saw the department sales revenue double in his first quarter running the department.

The second manager brought new innovation to the telemarketing department. In the same quarter,  he saw the telemarketing departments sales revenues double.

The third man’s changes were to reduce the number of employees who were in the department. He also eliminated the department’s overtime budget. As a result, in the same quarter, while salary expense in the department went down and the overtime budget was completely eliminated, the sales revenues failed to remain even stagnant. The quarter showed much lower revenues for the inside sales counter.

With the arrival of the end of the quarter, the CEO returned to work and called in his three managers for accounting. He inquired of the first manager about his actions during the CEO’s leave. “Sir, I changed the sales goals for all outside sales representatives. As a result revenues for my department doubled.”

“Well done. And, how about the telemarketing department?” The CEO asked as he turned to the second manager.

“I brought in new innovations to telemarketing. As a result, the revenues in the telemarketing department doubled.”

“Well done to you as well. How about the inside sales counter?”

“Sir, I knew you were a hard boss. I knew you fired employees for little reason and then had the personnel department work to deny their unemployment benefits. So I eliminated salary expense at the sales counter and eliminated over time in my department. It did save some money but we also had a marked reduction in sales revenues for the quarter.”

“So you say you knew I was a difficult boss, did you? You knew I fired employees for little reason and then tried to deny their unemployment benefits? As a result, you reduced expenses but didn’t bother to notice the reduction in revenue. At the very least you should have left the current policies in place. At least revenue would have remained stagnant. Good luck with your unemployment benefits. Take the inside sales counter and give it to the outside sales department and take this worthless manager and have him pack his stuff and show him the door.”

Friends, we are called to be people who step out, who move forward. We are called to be people who step up and move past the simple, easy way out. We are called to step out and step up for God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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