What do Bill Gates and Walmart greeters have in common? Limited resources. When’s the last time you said, “I don’t have time” to do something you wanted to do? Last weekend or ten seconds ago? Do you feel over-scheduled or under-productive? (Every hand in the room just shot up!)
Let me share a little secret with you. Everyone has problems allocating resources.
Bill Gates, Walmart greeters, and everyone else on the planet has limited resources. Resources include time, energy, cash, passion, and ability. Some folks are long on cash but short on energy. Others have ability out the kazoo but lack the passion to put it to work.
Remember this commercial tagline for a popular juice? After smacking himself in the forehead the actor exclaims, “I could have had a V-8!”
The emotion expressed is regret; the waste of opportunity. Evidence of a wrong choice. Misusing scarce resources.
Most of us would love a few do-overs. Like the 23 shirts that were a bargain to buy but somehow never got worn more than once or twice. It would be great to do a Samantha nose twitch and have a clean closet and fatter wallet. But, it doesn’t work that way.
God requires us to be good stewards over everything He’s provided. From time to talent and cash to commitment. He’s watching.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5
Minutes and dollars can only be spent once. Every moment that passes is gone and once a dollar leaves your pocket it’s history. There may be more where that came from, but the unique investment opportunity of that buck has passed.
Stewardship is intentional, but you can’t be intentional unless you’re aware of how you’re using your resources. There’s a difference between spending and investment. Spending gets you something you want right now but don’t necessarily need. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless what’s spent leaves a need unmet.
Investment applies resources towards bigger goals:
- Supporting important relationships.
- Family unity.
- Providing for a rainy day or retirement.
- Sowing into your faith community.
- Being part of a group to accomplish more than you could on your own.
Investment always seeks a return. It’s the hope of making more from less over time.
Stewardship is wise investment. Spending is for a moment. Investment is future oriented because is anticipates a return.
Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Matthew 25:20-21
How do you allocate your scarce resources of time, energy, and finances?
Be intentional. Know what you expect in return for your minutes, your passion, and your pennies. Sometimes spending a couple of bucks on a yummy dish of frozen yogurt is precisely the right choice. Solomon encourages us to enjoy what we have. The more wealth you have the more discretion you have in how to use it well.
No one has more time than you do. We all have the same 1440 minutes to use each day. Use them well.
Whether you’re a human dynamo (send me your diet and exercise tips) or someone with limited energy, budget it well. We constantly make choices of how to use what God’s given us.
Be aware. Be intentional. Be a blessing.