The Real Reason for Poor Stewardship

“If only I could figure out a good system to get organized, then I could finally move towards being a good steward of my time…”
“I’m not really managing my time well right now – but as soon as I get out of this rough patch in my life…”
“I’m going to start taking my time seriously…starting soon, real soon…really…”

Sound familiar?

It does to me. I’m pretty good at finding reasons to justify my complacency.

Like take this morning. I overslept. And in my fleshly mind, I had a good reason! I have a 5-month old baby that has a real set of lungs on him when he gets crying. But when I woke up naturally at 6 AM, I knew I should get out of bed – I just ignored my conscience and hit my pillow again.

Maybe you think you’ve got your own reasons for struggling with being a good steward. You don’t have a good system. Now is not a good time. You don’t know enough.

But Jesus tells us what the real reason is.

Wisdom in Parables

Jesus tells his disciples two strikingly similar parables on stewardship – the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Minas. (I examined both of these briefly in “Parable of the Minas: Jesus’s Little-Known Parable on Time Stewardship.”)

Both of these parables feature good stewards who were rewarded. Both also have servants who were poor stewards – who are called “wicked” and received punishment.

Here’s the scene from each parable when the master returns and the wicked stewards have to fess up:

Matthew 25:24-25
24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

Luke 19:20-21
20Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

Aha! It’s because they were afraid of their master, right?

But take a look at why they were afraid: because the master was “a hard man” and a “severe man.” He reaps where he doesn’t sow. He takes what he didn’t deposit.

Here’s the key. Even though they called him “Master” and “Lord” – they didn’t know him.

They didn’t see their master for who he truly was: kind, powerful, and wise. In reality, he was a master so good that the reward for the faithful was to enter into his joy. But the wicked stewards had a distorted view.

They didn’t know him because they didn’t see him properly.

Remembering the Real Reason

It’s not the systems or the knowledge or the “temporary” busy periods that are keeping you from being a good steward. It’s that, in the moment, we forget what a great God it is that we serve. I overslept this morning because at that point I valued another few winks of sleep over the pleasure of serving the living God.

How easy it is for us to forget.

Do you see Him properly?
Do you really know Him?
Does that inspire you to serve Him?

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. However, this doesn’t affect what I write about, what I choose to say, or what I recommend. Learn more here.