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A Spiritual Parable with Real-World Wealth Applications

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus teaches us the very well known end-times parable of the bags of money. In this parable a rich man gives some of his money to three stewards before he leaves on a journey. He dispenses his wealth to them in regard to their abilities. Two of the stewards put the money to use and then double it to gain a 100% profit. Out of fear, the third steward buried the money to keep it safe, and when his master returned, he gave back to him only what he had originally been given. The master rewards the first two stewards with increased wealth and responsibility, and allows them to enter into celebration in his courts. But he takes all of the money from the third servant, and then casts him out of the courts where he no longer has access to the wealth and protection of the master. He who has been given much, will be given even more, and the lazy one who does not produce, what little he has been given will be taken away from him.

Spiritually, the meaning of the parable warns us to recognize the value of the gifts that God has given us, and urges us to increase those gifts according to our abilities. The idea is that Jesus will return, and there is an expectation that we will not have squandered the wealth he has given us, or to have let it sit and stagnate. We are expected to actively seek out opportunities to increase it.

The parable has a very practical application. This application is based on the first principle of wealth management. In last week’s piece, we discussed the principle that all wealth comes from God. If that is so, then we are just like those stewards in the parable of the talents. We should be using whatever abilities we have to increase that wealth. We should wisely look for opportunities to invest our wealth, or use our talents to produce more of it. We should then use that wealth for the advancement of God’s purposes. When we are doing that, God will reward us with more wealth, more responsibility, and a celebration with him in his courts. In fact, he says that we will have abundance when we wisely do so. When we do not use what God has given us, then it will be taken away from us, and we may find ourselves in an outer darkness of missed opportunities, the chastisement of God, and the pangs of lack.

While this parable covers far more than just money, it is important to keep in mind that the Lord used the mechanics of wealth to illustrate his expectations. Consider how much more you could do for the kingdom in practical terms if you wisely increased the resources with which you have been blessed.

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