Use It Well
26 January 2015
Reading: Matthew 25: Psalm 22
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a trip. He called together his servants and gave them money to invest for him while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities—and then left on his trip… 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. (Matthew 25:14-15, 29 NLT)
This is one version of a story Jesus told more than once – a story about a master who generously invested in his servants and trusted them with his resources. It’s also about servants who invested wisely, or fearfully hid, what their master had entrusted to them. Those who developed their resources, and through hard work and a little risk multiplied the investment, were rewarded richly. The man who was lazy and fearful – one translation calls him wicked, another calls him lazy – lost even what he had been given. And remember, they were entrusted with resources according to their abilities, so each had a resource to invest and the necessary skills and abilities to make it grow.
When I back away from this story just a little and look at it in a less religious light, it seems that the master was looking for two things; the willingness to work hard, and the willingness to take a risk. Nothing is said about what sort of investments the successful servants chose, only that they put the money to work and made it grow. The only judgment on the unsuccessful servant is that he was too lazy to do the hard work, and too fearful to take a risk!
I’m not responsible for what others have received – according to their abilities. I am responsible for what has been entrusted to me – according to my ability.
• I must not let laziness or distraction keep me from doing the hard work required.
• I must not let fear keep me from taking the necessary risks.
I must do my best to use well what has been entrusted to me by my Master.
Father, Please help me be a good steward of the abilities you’ve given me and the resources you’ve entrusted to me. I want to give you a good return on your investment. If you have some instruction or correction for me concerning my stewardship, please let me know before it’s too late to learn and grow and change. May my service be pleasing to you and a blessing to others. Amen.