(sermon by Grant Vissers)
Do we really NEED all our stuff?
Many of us have an odd fascination ( perhaps addiction?) with stuff. We live in an economy of “more” without taking time to personally consider, “How much is enough?” Walter Brigman was quoted, “In our day and age, the great contradiction is that we have more and more money but less and less generosity. Money has become a kind of narcotic for us.”
Grant mentioned that the average Canadian spends $3000.00/year on clothes – that’s $8.00/day.
The story in Matthew 25.14-30 is an image of a preferred future – God’s economy – and the question becomes, “What does it mean to live richly according to God’s economy?”
The first two servants understood what was expected of them. They were to put the money given to them to work. They were to take ownership of the money and make more money for their master. The idea was to further their master’s mission and the master’s response was, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
The third servant dug a hold in the ground and hid his money.
“I was afraid and I hid your gold. Here’s what belongs to you.”
The third servant wasn’t given a little bit – he was given a whole bag of gold. He was given an abundance of riches but he didn’t do anything with it. He was fearful and terrified of the master, even though the master trusted him. He was scared of losing whatever gold he was given.
The master’s response? “You wicked, lazy servant. You should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest.”
Fear causes us to be self-protective. We take and keep. We don’t give away. We hide what God has given us. Fear represents the opposite to God’s economy of abundance. Fear leads to a scarcity mindset – there won’t be enough so I better take care of myself first. Fear causes us to be less generous with our gifts.
It’s not just about money. God has given us specific gifts to put to work in His kingdom – giving money is one. So is administration, wisdom, mercy and faith, teaching, prophecy, service and exhortation.
Yet, we do not use these gifts boldly because of fear.
Will you decide and choose to be faithful, bold and generous with the gifts God has given you?