Time, Talents, and Treasure – Part 3
As we finish chapter five and look back over the previous chapters, a nine-tiled grid of the elements which constitute man’s plight upon the Earth becomes evident. We have delved through man’s triune composition of body, soul, and spirit, following that up with the constitution of his character through his thoughts, words, and actions. All of this manifesting in the outward expressions of his maturity through the administration of his time, stewardship of his talents, and prudence with his treasure. A man’s capacity to be spiritually led by the Lord will allow him to properly govern both his body and soul while ordering his thoughts and aligning his words with his actions toward the proper use of his time in developing his talents to produce treasure. Man’s successful alignment of these attributes and areas with the word of God is the accomplishment of God’s will upon the Earth. This latter aspect of treasure has historically been a mystery as well as a hindrance to men throughout history. The word “treasure” often invokes thoughts of sunken ships laden with riches, or of buried chests of gold and silver. So for most, the concept of treasure is the notion of a material objective to be pursued or sought after. Jesus shatters this paradigm in Matthew 6:33 with these words; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” There are verses all throughout scripture which admonish and instruct on how to approach these issues of wealth. The Bible warns of an opposite course of action in 1 Timothy 6:9, where Paul writes; “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” There is nothing positive about being consumed with lusts and hunger after treasure. The following verse, 1 Timothy 6:10, continues to summarize this as; “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Elaborating further, Jesus said in Mark 8:36; “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” From these words, we see that there are grave inherent dangers in greed and the twisted pursuit of treasure. This is not how scripture deals with treasure itself, rather the prioritization or love of it. Ecclesiastes 2:26 begins to clarify this by quantifying these two opposite paths; “For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” On the one hand, seeking after the Lord bears the fruits of wisdom, knowledge, and joy. Meanwhile, the race to hoard wealth is run by the unjust so that God will ultimately bless the just with those same ends in His righteousness. Therefore, the one who pleases God receives wisdom, knowledge, and joy as well as the treasure gathered by the wicked. Chapter twenty of the book of Job, beginning in verse four and culminating in verse twenty-nine, clearly lays out the bitter end of him who fails to find wisdom and knowledge according to God. Psalm seventy five tackles pride in verses four through six by explaining that it is not of ourselves, but the Lord who exalts and brings low according to His pleasure. Therefore, let’s finish with Proverbs 22:1-2; “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold. The rich and the poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all.” Therefore my friends, if your interest is pursuing manhood, know that this entails the stewardship and governance of your time and talents to reach an administration of your treasure that expresses giving and not taking. This is what it means to be faithful with what has been entrusted to you. Someone who cannot manage a thousand dollars would be cursed by additional blessing. Our desire is that the Lord could use you to steward untold millions for His glory. So we pray that you enter into the wisdom of God with regards to your time, talents, and treasure. God bless you.