PhilosophyReligion

“To whom much is given much is required” – Meaning On Self Awareness

8 Mins read
to whom much is given much is required
to whom much is given much is required

“To whom much is given much is required” is a quote from the Bible, to those who don’t know what the Bible is, here is a simple basic definition (you should all LoL to this😂) – The Bible is a collection of sacred scriptures that men wrote through the inspiration of God, the Holy Religious Being that Christians believe in, it contains laws, instructions and directions from Him on how to live the best life and get rewarded, failure to which you will be condemned to go to Hell, an eternal pit of fire.

Now that we are up to speed as to what the Bible is, let me dive into this favorite verse of mine. FYI, I’m a Christian but my faith is a little bit wanting, you will figure that out once you have read a few of my blogs.

The quote “To whom much is given much is required”, is from the book of Luke 12:48, but I’m gonna quote the verse from verse 47 to kind of give you the entire context of the phrase.

“The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.  But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

luke 12:47-48

What people get wrong about this quote/verse

I was compelled to write a post about this quote because of a LoveLiveServe video I saw on YouTube, you should go see their vlogs they are amazing, and in one of their ‘philosophical’ rants, Rhino said that the meaning of “To whom much is given much is required” is – to whom much talent, skill, wealthy, opportunity is given, much is required of them to achieve those things.

That if you want to receive much and have much given unto you, you will have to do a lot and put in a lot of your dedication and time to achieve that.

Here is a snippet of the full video:

Source | LoveLiveServeYouTube

I do get why a lot of people choose to see that as the meaning of the verse, because it makes sense obviously, but in reality that is not what it actually means.

The Real meaning of “To whom much is given much is required”

The verse means this – to whom much talent, skills, wealth, opportunity and brains is given, much will be expected of them to actually use those ‘gifts’ to better the world, be better, do better and in Christian terms, glorify God using those ‘gifts’.

It means that if you are blessed with something, it is your duty, your obligation to use that blessing to its fullest.

This is a very popular phrase and I think most people probably know it from the Spider-Man movies. In the movies its rephrased to:

“With great power comes great responsibility. “

Uncle Ben’s words of wisdom to Peter Parker in Spider-man

The intent of Uncle Ben was to let Peter Parker know that if you have been bestowed a lot of power, then its upon you to be responsible enough to use those powers for the greater good, its your duty to use those great powers to make the world a better place. Not using them will be a great dis-service to the world and yourself.

In the Bible, Jesus uses this phrase to show that to those who won’t use their gifts to better the world, do good and glorify God, will be relieved of those gifts and be punished. He emphasizes on the fact that since we have been entrusted with certain things, then faithfulness requires that we manage those things wisely and unselfishly.

In the context of the chapter, He gives a parable involving a servant and his master –

“Suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows”

The significance of the quote to our lives

One of the secrets to happiness that many people believe in and agree on is that – there is more joy in giving than receiving (this also is a Bible verse), basically it means that happiness can be found by the mere act of being charitable and offering help and benefit to others.

And this has nothing to do with the teachings of the Bible but basically a whole ton of human history and experience. Most of the time, we get more satisfaction in helping others than we do get in helping ourselves.

That is why you see most rich people and organisations giving back to those who have little. One is because those who have little need a helping hand and secondly its because it makes them look good and feel good – which is one of the reasons why I say there is no selfless good deed, but more on that later.

Using what you have been blessed with, whether it be talent, a skill, wealth or even influence, should be seen as a service to the people. Who you are and what you do is not predicated on your own self, it takes a community to make you who you are. The money, skill, influence and talent you have mean nothing if there is no society to appreciate it.

What we end up forgetting is that as much as its not good to be defined by other people, its also important to know that what we do affects other people. What we use our gifts for causes a ripple effect that goes round and round reaching out to as many people as it can.

That is why you here parents complaining about pop stars, socialites and video vixens teaching questionable morals to their children. I believe that what you do with your gifts is your own choice, but its also prudent to remember that its still your obligation and in your own best interest to use them for the greater good. Whether you like it or not, one way or another, your choice will influence someone.

Before you choose to use or not use your platform, influence and gifts for whatever reason, remember that what you are going to do will influence a lot of people. Your gifts have the capacity to change the world, and that is a lot of responsibility, hence the rephrase “with great power comes great responsibility”.

How the phrase factors into your self awareness

This is a big deal because it affects our sense of self awareness which is a big part of emotional intelligence and its where happiness begins. Recognizing what makes us who we are (i.e becoming more self aware) means that we will have to know what we have been blessed and gifted with.

As much as we know our happiness lies in that discovery, we also need to remember that other people’s happiness lies in it too. By letting go of that inner gift that you are hiding, you will end up depriving the world of something that it really needs.

Just imagine if Steve Jobs gave up on his first try when he was making Apple what it is today, we wouldn’t have the smartphones we have today. No one would know any of Adele’s awesome songs if Adele had decided to sleep on her talents.

When you know you have a gift its upon you to realize that that gift is not only for your own happiness but everybody else’s. As humans we are all social creatures – we depend on each other, neither one of us is an island, therefore everything we are and everything we do is a ripple in the stream of time and space.

The tinniest of decisions you would ever make will echo throughout our entire existence, some people’s decisions may be more publicly noticeable than yours but don’t think for one second that yours are insignificant. If you understand the concept of the Butterfly effect then you will not waste your time doubting your contributions to the society, every decision is significant.

The Butterfly effect in philosophical terms basically refers to the fact that the tinniest, smallest of decisions made can cause a chain of events that over time will result in something bigger that would have otherwise not have been predicted when the small decision was being made.

So take for example you decide to write an Instagram post based on the most important life lesson you have ever learnt – lets say you write something like: “there is no perfect time, don’t waste your sweet time”. (P.S. You should definitely copy paste that lesson and drop it on your Instagram captions right now, make sure to tag me though- @themindcomplex.)

“there is no perfect time, don’t waste your sweet time”

themindcomplex.com

So lets say you post that. You may not think much of it at first, but one of your 40 followers will see it and truly resonate with it, he will then go on to apply it to his life. Ten years later, a kid who was wasting his time in college partying and getting wasted all the time, will have turned his life around, made a huge company and helped millions of people. That is the Butterfly effect in effect. You see what I did there?

This happens all the time, the recent depiction of this was Joyner Lucas when he made the song “Will”. In the song, he talks about how Will Smith inspired him to be better and brighter which led him to be the big star he is today. He talks about how the most insignificant of things that Will Smith did made him choose to take the path that he did.

Will Smith responded to the music video saying that it has always been his intention to inspire people like that, he knew from the very start that what he does is not only crucial to him but to everyone who was watching, he knew that what he did will affect others so he chose to be an example and use his gifts to make the world a better place by inspiring and giving hope to as many people as he could. That is how we make the world a better place. Here is his response video on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

WOW!!! That’s Crazy!  #Humbled @joynerlucas

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on

Bottom Line

In your road to self awareness, remember that there is more joy in giving than there is in receiving. Before you choose to let go off your dreams or pursue them, remember that what you do is not just for you, its for everybody.

Its your duty to please that booty – in this case the booty is the world.

So choose what will give you and the world more satisfaction. Choose what will be more fulfilling to do because it will not only make you happy but others too.

Same goes for when you are searching for who you really are. Ask yourself this question every time you are trying to figure out what to do. “What will I do that will not only make me happy but other people too and benefit us both, what will put more positivity and good vibes into the world, what is the one thing that if I let go will be me denying my responsibility as a human being?”

And there you go, you have now seen the true meaning and power of the phrase: “To whom much is given, much is required.” Now go apply it in your life and spread the word.

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About author
I'm a psychology enthusiast and a fried chicken lover. I write bite sized articles unpacking the complexities of the human mind. The mission is to advocate for what's more important in life - the pursuit of the truth and the highest good one can do with that truth - for themselves, the people around them and the society as a whole.
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