Seeing what you have as something that doesn’t belong to you

Seeing what you have as something that doesn’t belong to you

Have you ever borrowed someone’s car or looked after their house while they have been on holidays? While it is a blessing to have use of a car or house that you don’t usually have, we feel the responsibility of it. We are nervous that something might go wrong with this important and expensive thing we have been entrusted with.

And we are not free to alter the house or car the way that we might personally like. We cannot paint them a different colour or carry out renovations on the house. After all, they don’t belong to us. We are only looking after them for someone else.

That is a good analogy for what our possessions and abilities are really like. All that we have is a gift from God. We see this in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Each servant was given a massive amount to look after by their master. Everyone involved in this knew who the real owner of the money was. When the master returned, the first two servants gave the money back with any return they had made through their work. All they had, and all they achieved, was returned to the master in the end.

All of your money and abilities and possessions and family and opportunities are from God. We have been given them so that we might advance God’s purposes in the world. They are not intended for us to only spend all we have on our own comfort and ease.

We so easily forget this. We think too highly of ourselves. Think of all the blessings and resources you have at the moment. It is easy to think that they are due only to our hard work and that we deserve them. Is that really true? Who gave you the abilities to earn what you have earnt? Who is responsible for the opportunities you have received and the health that enabled you to take those opportunities? Who gave you life and breath and everything?

If we know the real owner of all we have, it makes a massive difference to how we approach life. Let me give you two brief examples:

  1. If your money is ultimately God’s money that we need to give an account for one day, that changes what we do with our money. It makes giving money to church and mission a key item on the budget of every Christian. It means we should assess whether our goal with money is our growth in comfort or the growth of the kingdom.
  1. It is easy to have the default thinking that all of our time belongs to us, and when we use some of it to go to church or serve others, we are doing God some kind of favour. We can think, “I could have just relaxed or spent time on what I personally enjoy, and devoting this time to God’s service is a special gift to God”. How foolish this thinking is! All of our time is God’s time; spending it serving God and others is a perfectly reasonable thing for us to do and God to expect of us.

God has blessed all of his children so richly. Let’s use what we have been entrusted with well and enthusiastically for His glory!