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Getting Into The Bible: What is success?

Friday 17th February 2017

Ask the young people what they think is meant by the word success or what it means to be successful? You could write some of the responses up on to a flipchart or whiteboard.

Read Matthew 25:15–30

Ask the young people which of the three servants were a success and why.

Go back to the responses you wrote up on the flipchart earlier and see if any are linked to money or wealth.

Discuss the story; asking the question ‘Is Jesus saying that making lots of money is what makes someone a success in God’s eyes?’

This might appear to be the case at first glance, as those who increase their investments are praised and the one who doesn’t do anything and just holds on to what he was given is told off. That said the clue is in the words the Master uses to give that praise “Well done my good and faithful servant” – he praises the servant for being faithful to him, carrying out the tasks which he was given, in the way he knows will please his master because that is the way his master goes about things.

Jesus could have used many different examples to put this story across, that do not necessarily involve wealth or money, see if the young people could come up with an alternative situation. Provide an opportunity for some of the young people to share what they have come up with and then ask them what sort of ‘business’ they think God is into. If they are unsure ask them what sort of business Jesus was into e.g. healing the sick, making friends with the outcast etc. Make a master list all together.

Finish by asking what sort of things we should be into if we want to be counted as God’s faithful servants. Listen to their ideas and say that very often what merits as success in God’s eyes can be seen as foolish in the eyes of the world.

The key message here is that a successful person in the Kingdom of God lives, or tries their best to live, the way they know pleases God.

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