And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness. (Matt. 25:30)

I ONCE WORKED with a young man who thought he was smarter than management or any of his peers. One day the office manager asked Alan to help expand the central file room. Because of the way he moved the files, it took months to undo the mess he made. Even though management asked him not to text during staff meetings, he did it anyway. His crowning glory came after he threatened his supervisor. That day the police escorted him out of the building. Alan’s arrogance not only robbed him of his job, but also his marriage, fancy car, and possessions.

Jesus had harsh words for the wicked, lazy servant in the parable of talents in Matthew 25, who thought he was wise like Alan. “Take away his talent and throw him into the darkness, where there will be agony and suffering” (paraphrase). No one wants to be cast out of God’s presence, but unless we become accountable to Him for our actions, we will reap an undesirable harvest of eternal suffering

Alan is one of countless people who choose to do things their way, instead of following authority. The same is true in God’s kingdom. We each have a choice—to believe Jesus Christ or serve ourselves. Choosing to live our way instead of God’s way brings separation from a loving Father. The consequences are eternal.

Pray for the wicked person(s) in your life while there is still time.

Sue Tornai lives with her husband, John, and dog, Maggie, in northern California. She teaches elementary Sunday school and leads a Christian writers group.