There's this passage that always gets to me. (Is that you, Conscience?)
It's the Parable of the Talents. (Several judgment stories like this are found in Matthew 25.)
The Story About Investment“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’
It's criminal to live cautiously like that.
Funny. I've heard of people getting into jail for wasting money, but not for saving!
But the thing is, it's God's money (and other resources like time, gifts, opportunities). And He will always make that resource grow. The question is, will we let Him? When He gives something to us, do we give it back to Him, to be used for Him and by Him? Or do we just drift along, or actively use those resources with the wrong motives?
I often find myself foolishly wasting time and money. Thank God, He never gives up on me. Every now and then I find that gentle nudge in the right direction.
Specifically, these two books are treasures. One is very short, sweet and practical:
Ang Pera Na Hindi Bitin:
How to manage your money so God will entrust you with more
by Ardy Roberto
(Read sample chapters here. PhP 50 in OMF and National bookstores.)
The other is quite deep but really worth reading or even browsing:
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No
To Take Control of Your Life
by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
(The authors talk about the book here. P250 in Philippine Christian Bookstore.)
"Those who honor Me, I will honor."
(1 Samuel 2:30)
A couple of weeks ago, I committed to honoring God even more with my money. I chose to invest in His work over improving myself (i.e., going to The Gym). I don't think it a coincidence that managing my time suddenly became easier. As in much easier.
Here's my schedule for this school term. This might seem pointless or silly to some, but for someone like me, it is a miracle.
Just like that, Time Management: check.
Giving more for God's Kingdom doesn't make me poor. It just takes wisdom and discipline. Yesterday my friend suddenly gave me a piece of advice: get a lump sum to balance every week or so, instead of withdrawing every time there's a need or want. Again, miraculous insight for someone like me.
Money Management: check.
As for the self-improvement... I finally got to lift weights, jog, and dance again. For how much? The first is free, the second is free, the third only PhP 50.
That's Body, Time, and Money Management too: check.
"Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:30)
Thank You Lord for being a Great Owner, and for helping me be a good manager. It's great to work for the King. ♥
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."(Matthew 6:30-33, The Message)