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July 25, 2010 / beidson

Barn Builders and Hole Diggers: Don’t Do What You Want To Do With What You Got

All of us are inwardly prone to stock our own shelves.  Ask my 2 yr. old son: the more cheerios the better, and keep ’em coming,because it’s better to have too many than to run out.  Of course, I completely understand where he’s coming from.  He’s like me, and I’m like my father, Adam.  He liked to stock his shelves too.

Jesus described two types of people that do the wrong thing with the things they have.  In Luke 12 he describes a rich man that had so many crops that he tore down his barns and built bigger ones to store his surplus.  He got cocky and hoarded his possessions.  He gave no thought to giving it away.

The other man Jesus describes in Matthew 25 was a servant whose master had given him a single piece of money to invest while he went away on a journey.  He returned to find that his servant had not gained anything on the money, but not because he lacked opportunity.  The servant lacked courage.  He was afraid.  He feared he might lose his master’s money, so he went and dug a hole in the ground and hid it.  He gave no thought to investing it.

Both of these men were fools, the latter even called “wicked and lazy.”  The reason is that they did not understand that they were only stewards of what they had been given.  The rich man believed he had gained his wealth entirely on his own.  The lazy servant believed his master was cruel to have put so much pressure on him; he did not even try to do what his master had commanded him to do.  Both stewards lost it all in the end because they either hoarded or hid what they had been given to use with wisdom and charity.

You and I are equally tempted to hoard or hide our possessions and gifts.  We are naturally driven to stock our own shelves, to keep at least a minimum of what we think we need.  And yet, the servant with only one talent was condemned for not putting it to good use.  He hoped to break even, but in the end, his talent was in the hole, and so was he.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a servant of God, and all that he has is to be invested for the good of others and the glory of God.  Do not boast if you have much, and do not be afraid if you have only a little.  Pray about what you are to do with anything that you have.  If you have a good barn, be content with that.  And if you have a shovel, don’t hide what needs to be put to use.  Barns and shovels are for helping, not hoarding and hiding.


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