So often, when we think of being a good steward of our time, we think of avoiding time-wasters.
We don’t want to spend too much time on facebook or twitter. We don’t want to procrastinate. We don’t want to aimlessly click around reading blogs. We don’t want to gossip and chatter unnecessarily. We don’t want to go grab that next cup of coffee just to put off tackling that tough task.
But if avoiding waste is what we concentrate on when we steward our time, we’re missing so much.
In fact, Jesus’s words on stewardship provide a very different picture of what a successful steward looks like.
My wife and I weren’t great stewards of our finances in the past.
We weren’t big spenders. We didn’t drive fancy cars, we didn’t shop a lot, and we didn’t eat out that often.
But we were still poor stewards. We were quite passive and foolish about insurance, saving, investment, and tax decisions.
We may have avoided doing bad things, but we weren’t proactive about doing good things.
This difference is further shown in the Parable of the Talents.
The good steward who received the five talents “went at once and traded with them.” (Matthew 25:16) The same with the good steward with two talents.
They exerted themselves and were proactive about doing good. They even risked the money in the course of doing good for their master.
But the poor steward just buried his money. He didn’t spend it and waste it – but he didn’t invest it, he didn’t utilize it, he didn’t do good with it.
And Jesus referred to this steward as wicked.
The wickedness of the poor steward is evidenced by his motivations.
He was more concerned with avoiding punishment than doing good for his master. He avoided risk out of selfishness.
If you really love God and really love people, how can you not want to make good use of your time? Not just in avoiding waste but in proactively using all of the resources at your disposal for good?
Busyness Does Not Equal Doing Good
When we’re so worried about simply not wasting time, we begin to equate busyness with virtue.
We don’t define success by obedience. We don’t define success by the fruit that we yield. We define success when we’re constantly moving.
Not only do we remain unproductive, but the busyness actually numbs us to the fact that we’re being poor stewards.
So take a moment to think if you are really accomplishing good with your life.
What could you do to be even more proactive at bringing good about?
Do you need to plan more? Organize more? Think more? Focus more? Try more? Risk more? Love more? Pray more? Trust more?
Are you “going at once to trade with your talents”?
Photo Credit: Liz West (Creative Commons)
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