Are You Wasting Away?

Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given. –Luke 12:48b (NLT)

The students that made up the youth group were seething at their youth pastor as he stood in front of them, burning a twenty-dollar bill. For these kids, twenty dollars was a big deal! He would set fire to the bill, let a bit of it burn and then blow out the flame. Repeatedly, he asked the question: “Is the bill still worth twenty-dollars?” The kids thought the youth pastor was crazy! They begged him to stop–to give the money to them–before it was too late and the bill was worthless. The students yelled in frustration as the money finally disappeared into ashes. Then, he quietly asked, “How many of you are treating the life God gave you in the same way?” The tone of the group changed immediately as the kids fell into an introspective silence.

What about you? God has given each of us tremendous gifts of life, talents and abilities. Are these being used as God intended or are they–like the twenty-dollar bill in the youth pastor’s object lesson–being slowly squandered and wasted away?

Unlike burned money, and fortunately for us, God is in the business of re-creating squandered lives. There is no one so far gone that God is not able to restore and rebuild a life. It’s never too late to recognize waste in our own lives, ask God for His forgiveness and grace and get back on the track of real life, offering ourselves up to God to be used by Him.

Today, take a quick self-inventory. Are you being responsible with the gifts God has given you, or are you allowing yourself to be wasted? Take whatever action is necessary to make the needed changes and to put your God-given gifts to use for the cause of Christ!

1. What gift, ability, or talent do you possess that is not being used to its fullest for the cause of Christ?

2. What decisions do you need to make that would allow God to do a work of re-creation in your life so that he may use you more effectively for His purposes?

Acts 9; 1 Corinthians 4:2, Philippians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 4:7

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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