Work, Success, and the Parable of the Talents

Recently I saw a bumper sticker that read,He who dies with the most toys wins, but he is still dead.This must be a post-modern version of the late 1990’s original, which simply read, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

By: Hugh Whelchel

Recently I saw a bumper sticker that read,

He who dies with the most toys wins, but he is still dead.  

This must be a post-modern version of the late 1990’s original, which simply read, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

If bumper stickers are a reflection of the soul of our culture (and I am not sure that is true) are we in the 21st century moving away from the idea that the acquisition of “things” and the pursuit of pleasure are the driving forces and measuring rods of a successful life?

If so, what does success look like today?  What is the measure of success? Does it look different for Christians? What is the Biblical definition of success?

I was asked to preach this weekend as part of the Labor Day Weekend Service at my church. I set out to try to answer these questions.  My sermon title was “The Biblical Meaning of Success,” and I used the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25:14-30 as my text.

I told the congregation they had been lied to. Two great lies have been told to them by everyone from their kindergarten teacher to the U.S. Government:

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