3 Ways To Waste Your Life – Matthew 25:1-30

Reflection from my reading in Matthew 25:1-30 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Summary of the Parable

Here’s my summary of a powerful parable of how to make the most of your life that Jesus told.

A man went on a long trip and entrusted his money to three of his servants. One he gave five bags of silver, one two bags, and one one bag. He divided it up based on their abilities and then left.

The one who got five bags earned five more. The one with two bags earned two more. The one with only one bag dug a hole and hid the money!

When the master returned he pulled a Jerry McGuire and asked them, “SHOW ME THE MONEY”! From the master’s exchange with the servant who hid his money we learn some lessons on…

3 Ways To Waste Your Life

1. Let Fear Dictate Your Actions

“He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” Matthew 25:24–25

Fear paralyzes us and keeps us from faithfully using what God gives us. Fear is like a imaginary cage that we make for ourselves. Satan loves to use fear to stop us from using what God has given us. Fear also leads us to do the second thing on the list…

2. Don’t Take Risks

“so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” Matthew 25:25

His fear led him to do the safest thing he could think of, hide the money in the ground. If you let fear keep you from taking risks in life you will never faithfully use what God has given you to it’s full potential.

As the greatest hockey player of all time  Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Most things worth doing take risk; asking a girl out or to marry you takes risk, sharing the gospel takes risk, applying for a job takes risk.

If you are not taking any risks then you are not living to your full potential in life. 

3. Be Lazy

“But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?” Matthew 25:26

The master rebuked the servant for being lazy. Another result of fear is laziness. Once you become comfortable not taking risks laziness naturally follows. The Bible is very serious on the issue of laziness. Actually in Proverbs it says,

“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.”  Proverbs 18:9

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” Proverbs 22:13

From these two verses we see that fear leads to laziness and that laziness is taken very seriously. Being lazy leads us to waste our lives. If you want to make the most of what God has given you it will take risk and hard work. So get off the coach and start using what God has given you for his glory! 

Well Done Good And Faithful Servant

The Master’s response to the first two servants who were faithful with their money was much different.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21 & 23

This is what every follower of Jesus longs to hear at the end of our lives. Notice he rewarded the one he gave two bags with the same praise as the one he gave five bags. Our reward is based on what we did with what we were given, not how much we were given.

The poorest janitor who faithfully serves Christ will receive the same reward as an equally faithful famous preacher like Billy Graham! 

The key is being faithful with what you have been given. Not just monetarily but being faithful with all of your opportunities, talents, connections, and everything God has entrusted you.

Life is a test.

Those who prove faithful will be rewarded.

Those who waste their lives will look back in regret, wishing for another chance.

Which of the “3 Ways To Waste Your Life” are you most tempted with?

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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