The Try Factor
“His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" -Matthew 25:23
What is the difference between someone who is progressing in their faith and life and someone who is just getting by? What do you think will be the difference between Jesus saying "well done, good and faithful servant," and "not so much" when we get to heaven? I believe it is the "try" factor.
There is certainly a difference between "progression" and "regression" in the kingdom of God and in our lives. If we aren't moving forward, the world keeps turning, so by default we'll be moving backward. If we're stuck in old mentalities or old ways of thinking, it isn't likely we'll be able to fulfill God's calling on our lives. Many times fear and unforgiveness can limit us from fulfilling our purpose. Regret is living in unforgiveness toward ourselves, which can hinder us much more than any outside person or circumstance.
God doesn't expect us to be right all the time or to be perfect - so what's the defining mark? Our ending "grade" in the kingdom doesn't necessarily amount to how many souls we got saved or our attendance record at church. It has to do with being open to God's leading and "doing the good works your Father prepared in advance for you to do." (Ephesians 2:10) The defining factor is trying, not giving up, being hopeful in the face of hopelessness, remaining in faith when the circumstances are dim, and staying pure when the temptations are great. When we at least "try" to do God's will with an intent to serve Him, when we're open to His leading, there's no way we can fail, no matter the outcome.
Are you stuck in any ruts? Pray today and ask God what you can "try" today. Maybe it's picking up the Bible again. Maybe it's having a more active prayer life. Perhaps it's trying something again a different way or trying something else entirely. Make sure you don't stay stagnant. God is always moving - where is He in your life today?