God’s Favour Translates Work Into Success
Without God’s favour, we can as well break our back toiling and nothing will come out of it. This is what the prophet Haggai said: “Ye have sown much, and bring in little” (Hag. 1:6). We own what we own and are what we are primarily because of favour and secondarily because of work. Therefore, we owe what we own to the One who grants us the possibilities and abilities.
We cannot explain favour nor demand it, we can only request it. God’s favour is a mystery because it rests on His discretion which He often doesn’t justify. Like He says about mercy: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Rom. 9:15), He can as well say: I will favour whom I will favour. I can figure out the question that runs in the reader’s mind, and it is this: Does God play favourites? God indeed plays favourite, and this is not a problem. He doesn’t favour like man does. He favours for responsibility and not for privilege. If God showed you the favour He intends to grant you against the responsibility that goes with it, you may as well not get over-excited.
If we envy people because of the favour God has bestowed upon them, we are setting ourselves against God Himself. We also forget that for every favour there is a great responsibility and accountability. If we forget about the privileges of favour and look at its responsibilities, we may think twice about envying people who enjoy God’s favour.
If we can’t see the responsibilities that come with favour in someone’s life, it may be because the favoured person has gone for privileges and forsaken the responsibilities. We wouldn’t envy such a person when he is finally called upon to give an account before God. God will not require of us to explain how much we appropriated the privileges but how much we discharged our responsibilities.
It requires God’s favour to translate work into success, otherwise we can work and work and get nothing out of it. That said, there is no denying that some people have worked so hard to be what they are and to have what they have. The harder we work, the more we will be in a position to know the value of what we have. This is why works and grace supplement each other.
It is important however, for the hard-worker to remain humble and recognise that God’s favour played part in his success. People who have had an easy ride to success may think that those who are struggling are probably accursed while those who have worked their way hard to success may think that the strugglers may not have worked hard enough. This trend of thought shrouds the favour factor that explains God’s workings which often influences things from the background.
Most of the times we envy people and covet what they have without regarding the work behind their success; the time they have invested and the discipline they endured.
A person who has worked harder and longer should naturally own more than someone who hasn’t worked as much. Envying people who have made it may lead to us falling for scams like get rich quick or compromising our integrity by taking shortcuts. We read in Proverbs 28:20: “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.”
Covetousness and envy would make us despise what we have. If this happens, we will not thank God for what we already have. Be wary of covetousness; it has the power to turn wants into needs and needs into wantonness.
Because of envy and covetousness, many people choose luxurious life without having the means to finance it. The problem is that they force others to finance it for them. The more we crave for what is beyond our current means the more we are moving closer to the territories of a compromised life. The danger is that we may not tell when we finally cross the border.
The bottom line: Anyone ruled by the spirit of covetousness is guaranteed to fail as a steward. If we always remember the responsibility of stewardship, we will be in a position to manage the privileges of God’s favors. On the day of accounting, it will not be about how we enjoyed the privileges but how we executed our responsibilities.
The apostle Paul’s exhortation and warning summarizes the matter: