Back in 1906, an economist observed that 20% of the people in Italy owned 80% of the land. Since then, observers noticed that this same principle applies in various situations. For example, 20% of customers account for 80% of business income; 20% of patients use 80% of healthcare resources. But should that 80/20 principle apply to God’s work in the church? Should 20% of the people be doing 80% of the work? The apostle Peter addressed this issue in his first epistle, chapter four. He explained that as people of God, they now have a new set of principles to guide their behavior. They should now live to please God and realize that a day of reckoning is coming. Peter argues that since we know that Jesus Christ will one day return and evaluate our lives, we should be earnest and disciplined in our behavior. Our prayer life should reflect an unfettered relationship with God, our Father. We should make wise and mature decisions. We should have a clearly defined purpose in life–to do the will of God. Additionally, we should show deep love for each other because love covers a multitude of sins. Peter then deals with how we should serve one another. He stresses that God has given each believer a gift. If each of us identified and used our gift to serve others in the local church, 20% of the people would not be doing 80% of the work.
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