by Ron Bare
I learned all about hard work growing up on a farm. I understood that the small,
unglamorous jobs had to be done. Yet this didn’t make my first job off the farm much easier. I
was working at a local lumber yard, and my job was to catch wood as it came through the
saw. Exciting, right? One day, my supervisor asked for someone to work outside to unload a
huge truck full of wood, and you better believe I was quick to volunteer! When I was done, no
one was around, so I went to find my supervisor to let him know. He was baffled. It was a
project he thought would take all day, and it had been done in just a few hours. He promoted
me on the spot, and I said goodbye to my lumber-catching role.
I was trusted with catching wood, and then I was trusted with unloading a truck, and
then I was trusted with even more responsibility. As I continued to prove faithful, I was
entrusted with more. And I believe this principle stands true spiritually as well. As Christians,
we are called to be faithful with what God has given us.
Jesus illustrates faithfulness in the parable of the talents – many of you have likely
heard this story found in Matthew 25. In this story, the master left town and entrusted his
possessions to three servants. Two servants invested what they had been given, making
double what they had received by the time the master returned. One servant buried what he
was given, fearful that he may lose it. The master was pleased with both servants who had
multiplied what they’d been given, and displeased with the other.
In this parable, we see the master, who represents Jesus, giving servants talents. After
he returns, he is pleased with those who have multiplied what he left them with. It all
belonged to him in the end; the servants were just stewarding what had been given to them.
Scriptures like Psalm 24:1 remind us of this very reality. All we have is God’s. And all of
these things we’ve been blessed with – finances, family, time, resources, etc. – we’re meant to
manage them in a way that honors Him.
What a tall task. And don’t overlook the fact that many temptations will arise,
encouraging you not to be faithful with your resources, and most of these dress themselves as
fear. We each have fears, especially when it comes to managing money. If I give some away,
will I have enough? What will others think of my financial decisions? Questions like these
will come from everywhere – culture, others, the enemy, and even from ourselves. We must
decide ahead of time that when we feel fearful, we will still choose to be faithful.
And when we choose to be faithful, we might also be led to ask what things God is
asking us to be faithful with. What does this really look like? First, God gives us time. How do
you spend your time? If you examine your time, what can it tell you about what you value?
Second, He gives us talents. What are you doing with the gifts and abilities God has given you?
Are you serving others with the specific giftings you have? Are you pointing back to God when
others praise you for these giftings? Third, He gives us treasure. How does your financial
management point to God?
When we are faithful with the little that He gives us, He entrusts us with more.
Faithfulness is not for the faint of heart. It demands that you recognize God as the
owner of everything you have. Once you acknowledge that, how much easier it is to be
faithful! God’s gifts to each of us in the form of time, talents, and treasure are unbelievable.
Let us thank Him for these gifts through our acts of faithfulness.
This year at Bare, we’ll be focusing on the year of faithfulness. As we provide
excellent wealth management grounded in Biblical wisdom, we have developed resources to
share with you that will help you identify and focus on key areas to grow in faithfulness. We
can’t wait to meet with you and talk about what faithfulness looks like.