Friday, August 25, 2006

No Deposit, No Return

You have probably heard the expression: no deposit, no return. It goes right along with Gal 6:7:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Today I have been contemplating the fact that you do not always get a return on your deposit. Deposits are not seeds. They are not guaranteed to produce fruit. To profit from your investments, you have to use wisdom.

This is true in economics and in life. (Not that economics are not a part of life.) For example, I am trying to start a business. I have invested all sorts of money buying supplies and paying the government for licenses and such. A lot of time has also been invested. But the first things I tried to sell didn't. I suspect that the reason is I wasn't as educated in the subject as I thought. I didn't have wisdom.

I've known people in whom I invested attention, love, maybe money and aid - and they didn't return on my investment. It didn't seem like they ended up better people. They weren't even grateful. Why is that? What is the real result of labor?

Why did I invest in that person? Was it to benefit them? If so, who am I to say it didn't work? If not, if my reason was selfish, that wasn't really investing in the other person, was it?

I'm glad at least that God promises His deposits always produce a return. He says His word "will not return unto Me void: it shall accomplish that which I please and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

When God, therefore, gives me a task, I am not responsible to count the potential return. He asks me to make the deposit. It reminds me of the parable of the talents, how the master expected the servant to invest the money with which he was entrusted, even though the servant wouldn't personally collect.

That's the thing about the law of cause and effect. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is not justice. Sometimes the reaction hits the innocent bystander, not the instigator.

However, we can be grateful with the Psalmist in Psalm 37, who after complaining that the wicked prospered, realized: But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again...

To God be all glory.

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