Verse: Matthew 25:14-28 (Parable of the Bags of Gold)
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag 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 man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
The word that sticks out to me from this parable is "faithful." "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with the few things." The parable goes on to describe a similar encounter with the man who earned two more, and he receives the same response. The third man who buried his gold is told that he is "wicked and lazy."
As we turn this parable back toward our lives, we must ask ourselves, what has God given us that we are to be faithful in? What has God trusted to our care? And are we investing in those things, or are we avoiding them?
Here are a few ideas: are there people in your life that God has given you that you are to be faithful with (neighbors, friends, parents, kids, spouses)? Are you a faithful presence in their lives? A faithful example of faith? Faithfully loving and serving them? Are there callings from God that he has put in your heart that you are to be faithfully pursuing? Are there gifts that he has given you that you have a choice to bury or use? What about resources? Your house, your money, your stuff - are you using them for the Kingdom of God?
It's challenging, but also liberating, to begin to think of our whole life as an investment in the kingdom of God. All of our stuff, all of our relationships, all of our time—these are all gifts from God, that we can invest back into the things he cares about.
Eugene Peterson said that his life goal was "long obedience in the same direction." In other words, faithfulness. In a world where we are tempted to chase the next shiny thing, buy the next new thing, and change our beliefs according to the next popular trend—we need more people who are faithful to the end. May we be a people of faithfulness, as God has been faithful to us.
I pray that you would show me how to be increasingly faithful with the gifts that you have given me.