Use it, or Lose it

This summer when we went away, I left our son with strict instructions that while we were gone, he had to keep watering the plants.  He was expected, not just to keep them alive, but to make sure that they actively kept growing.  To just ignore them was not going to produce the fruit and veg that were expected.  A large responsibility…

Jesus tells a story about a man who is going on a trip.  As he prepares to leave, he calls his servants together and puts them in charge of his property, each one with an amount he believes is within their capabilities.

The first two used what they had been given to “add value”, so when the owner returns he has more than he left.  The third one had not lost anything, but neither had he added to it.  This incurs the anger of the one whose money it was and the man suffers for his inactivity.

This is quite a curious story.  Surely if the man hadn’t lost any of the money he was to be commended.  But if we are following this theme through chapters 22-25 of Matthew’s gospel, it is not just what you have or know that is important, but what you do with it.

The message for us, is that we have been left in charge of God’s property – both his world and the good news of his love and hope in Jesus.  The question is what are we doing with it?

Are we hugging it to ourselves, enjoying it, but not telling anyone else?

Are we busy looking around, seeing how much others have got, and worrying about that, not what we are going to do with what we’ve been given?

Or are we looking to see what we can do with what we have, that God’s work may increase?

Lord

you have given so much to me.

And you have left me with the responsibility

to care for your property.

May I do what I can to increase your work,

that when you return

I shall not be found lacking or lazy,

but productive and welcomed in.

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