Faithful Stewardship, Part I

“And he who had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the earth. Lo, you have yours. His lord answered and said to him, Evil and slothful servant! You knew that I reaped where I did not sow, and gathered where I did not scatter, then you should have put my money to the exchangers, and coming I would have received my own with interest.” (Matthew 25:24-27)

The story is told (above) of the man who thought that his master was a “hard man, reaping where [he] did not sow, and gathering where [he] did not scatter.” Plainly, the man’s image, or understanding, of who exactly his master was, was wrong. In his mind, he pictured God as being this “hard” man.

That is the way it is with many people today in the world, including some Christians. God is “hard” man, He is a “difficult” man. He is a man who wants to “cause trouble.” If that is their view of God, it is no wonder they struggle in their relationship with Him! Consequently, as it was in the case of this man, their gifts (time, talent, and money) remain hidden. They do not want to serve a God like that!

Unfortunately, such people are also “doing themselves in,” as the above verse demonstrates. Look and see what happened to the man whose view of his master was a “hard man.” He was actually rebuked, because he did not follow through on his beliefs! Let me explain this a little.

The man sincerely thought that his master was a hard man. He KNEW that his master would be coming back one day to “settle accounts,” and yet, he did nothing. The Lord’s response to him was, “You knew [i.e. believed] that I reaped where I did not sow, and gathered where I did not scatter, then [based on your belief] you should have put my money to the exchangers, and coming I would have received my own with interest.” (vv. 26-27). In other words, the man should have been busy making a good return on the gifts which his master had entrusted to him. For some of us, that could be money (we could be giving more). For others, that could be time (we could be serving more). For yet others, that could mean taking on a leadership position based on the calling and giftings which the Lord has entrusted to us.

(To be continued.)