In our study of Biblical Stewardship we have learned the definition of a steward and the basics of stewardship in Stewardship 101..http://thejourneyofasteward.com/biblical-principles-stewardship.html In week 2 we talked about disciplines of being a good steward…….http://thejourneyofasteward.com/principles-of-biblical-stewardship-disciplines-of-a-good-steward.html
Today we are going to look at Hindrances of Stewardship.
We now know that our responsibilities as good stewards is to gain information, make decisions based on that information, and apply with all diligence to dispersing, increasing, and protecting all of our resources that the owner has given to us for the betterment of Him (the master or owner). What hinders us from doing just that?
Take a few moments to think to yourself what are some personal hindrances in your life of Biblical Stewardship.
- influence of others
Those are by no means exhaustive. My list could go on…and on! Let’s look at truths that Christ taught.
Matthew 24:45-50- “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,”
In this passage, the owner had delayed his return. Meanwhile, the servant got distracted. Instead of focusing on what he was suppose to do, he got mixed up with the wrong behaviors. He showed a heart problem towards the owner and fellow workers. He started eating and drinking with the drunken. He was distracted. His focus shifted from that of the owner to himself. He was living for himself and not preparing for the Master’s return. How often do we live like this? Christ’s return seems so far away. Sometimes, I think we do not even believe He is coming back. We get distracted by what the world has to offer and pretty soon we are living a life dishonoring to God. We need to continually re-focus so we can keep our eyes open and ready for the return of our Master.
If you have a Bible handy open it to Matthew chapter 25:1-30. There are two separate parables here that we want to look at. ( But I do not want to type out 30 verses) 🙂 Good ole’ copy and paste…
Mat 25:1-13 –  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
The first 13 verses is the parable of the ten virgins. The first five were wise, the second five foolish. For the sake of this post we will look at the five foolish virgins. What was their downfall? They had no oil. They appeared to be ready, however, they were unprepared. They had no oil. I believe there is two hindrances here. Not just being unprepared, but procrastinating. They assumed they would have enough time for the most important item. A lamp does no good without oil. The five foolish virgins were living in the moment, instead of looking ahead and being prepared for the bridegroom. I also think that the response of the wise virgins to the foolish should be noted. They did not share their oil did they? No they said, “Go get your own” (Kelly’s translation).
Do we live like this? Do we appear ready, but we really are not? Do we procrastinate on the things of God thinking we have plenty of time?
The next parable is The Parable of the Talents.
Mat 25:14-30 –  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This is the parable that stings. I love to read the parable and hear of the master’s response to the faithful servants, but as I read the unfaithful servant’s response to the master, my heart aches. If I look at my own behaviors, they reveal some of these very same attitudes. The servant had a skewed view of the master (vs. 24). He thought he knew the master and behaved in a manner that he thought was right (doing right in his own eyes). How often do we do that? Our behaviors and actions show what we believe to be true about God. Let me say that one more time and let it soak in a bit….our behaviors and actions show what we believe to be true about God. The servant also was afraid. This obviously was an unhealthy fear. Not a fear of reverence and honor, but of retribution. This servant seemed more worried about himself than the care of his master’s things. He offered excuses for his lack of action.
Does one of these parables resonate more with you? Can you see the hindrances in your life and how they are effecting your stewardship and service to the Master?
Here are the hindrances to Biblical Stewardship that Christ taught:
- Wrong/Bad attitude
- Living in the moment
- Inaccurate view of the Master
Really what it boils down to is one word…..sin! The battle of the flesh keeps us from living a life of Biblical Stewardship. John states it clearly in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” It is these three things that trip us up every time.
But we have victory and can overcome! 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Faith is the victory!
We need to obey the Master’s words because He is returning and I believe soon! Are you ready?
Blessing as you walk with the King today!