Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Sin of Mismanagment

What are you doing with the blessings (talents, resources, experiences, relationships, and opportunities) God has given you? Do you consider it a sin to mismanage what God has blessed you with?

I look at my life and I can’t help but realize how I have failed to use God’s blessings to bless other people or to bring glory to Him. Too many days go by with out me making any sort of effort to impact the life of another person It is very sad that I have hoarded God’s blessings instead of sharing what He has given me. While I have hoarded His blessing I have help myself back from becoming the person God created me to be (Ephesians 2:10).

Each one of us will be held responsible for the gifts God has given to us. That is the point of one of the stories Jesus told about judgment.
14 “For it is like a man going on a trip who called his servants and turned his money over to them. 15 To one man he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, based on their ability. Then he went on his trip.

16 “The one who received five talents went out at once and invested them and earned five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two talents earned two more. 18 But the one who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master's money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I've earned five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant! Since you have been trustworthy with a small amount, I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master's joy!’

22 “The one with two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I've earned two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant! Since you have been trustworthy with a small amount, I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master's joy!’

24 “Then the one who had received one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you haven't planted and gathering where you haven't scattered any seed. 25 Being afraid, I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here, take what is yours!’

26 “His master answered him, ‘You evil and lazy servant! So you knew that I harvested where I haven't planted and gathered where I haven't scattered any seed? 27 Then you should have invested my money with the bankers. When I returned, I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has something, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 Throw this useless servant into the outer darkness! In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:14-30; ISV)

This parable shows us that we are judged on the type of stewards we are. Perhaps it is just me, but I don’t think we talk about this enough. We challenge people to pray and read their Bibles. Don’t get me wrong I think spiritual disciplines are important, but I wonder if they are the most important actions God wants from our lives.

When we neglect or misuse the blessings of our lives we miss out on living the life God has prepared for us. We miss out on touching the lives of other people. We miss out on proclaiming Jesus to the world. We miss out on changing our lives. Using our blessings moves us from people of belief to people of faith.

We cannot become the people God created us to be until we are willing to be good stewards of His blessings. Using God’s gifts helps us experience the life God created us to live. When we hoard the blessings God has given us we sin.

Peter wrote:
7 The end of everything is near; so be sensible and clear-headed for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, continue to love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without complaining. 10 As good managers of God's grace in its various forms, serve one another with the gift each of you has received. 11 Whoever speaks must speak God's words. Whoever serves must serve with the strength that God supplies, so that in every way God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. Glory and power belong to him forever and ever! Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11; ISV)

Being good manager or stewards comes down to be servants. We need to ask the question: How can I help another person with this gift. Do you have a house and food? Then you should show hospitality. Can you write? Perhaps you can write a note of encouragement. Are you gifted in mechanics? Change the oil in the car of a single mother. The things we can do with blessings God has blessed us with is limitless. When use them we put ourselves on the path of becoming the person God created us to be.

  • Point to Ponder: Using God’s gifts helps us experience the life God created us to live.
  • Passage to Remember: 1 Peter 4:7-11
  • Question to Consider: How are you using God’s blessings?

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