Our Top Priority Investment

Here’s a story Jesus told about two guys who put what the boss wanted them to do at the top of their “to do” list–and one who didn’t.

A man who was going on a journey called together his three servants and entrusted his property to them while he was gone. He distributed the property according to their varying abilities, giving five coins to one, two coins to another and one coin to the third.

When the man returned from his journey he asked for an accounting. The first servant showed his master that by his efforts he had earned five coins with the five he was given. The second servant showed the master that he had also doubled the initial investment. The third servant simply handed the master back his original coin. He said he had done nothing with it except to bury it, perhaps for safekeeping. (You can read the story in Matthew 25:14-30 as well as a second similar story Jesus told in Luke 19:11-26.)

As you can well imagine, the man was delighted with the efforts of the first two servants and furious at the third. The first two servants had put their master’s interests at the top of their “to do” list. In fact, Jesus said the first one went “at once” and put the master’s money to work. You can see that they made investing for the master a high priority by the returns they earned. It is not easy to double an investment even if you have a long time to do it. It takes real effort: a creative plan, hard work and constant attendance to the goal.

The third servant was the exact opposite in terms of effort. All he did was take the time to bury the coin. Notice that when the master heard that the servant had kept his money buried he did not rebuke him for being too conservative with money or too afraid to take risks. He said he was lazy. The servant hadn’t increased the master’s property because he was too lazy and too careless of his master’s property to make any effort.

You get the moral of the story Jesus was telling, right? We are the servants, left here with responsibility for His interests while He is gone. He has given us each some resources which we can invest in His kingdom, which we can squander for ourselves or which we can ignore. We can put investing His property for His good at the top of our “to do” list or we can bury it under the mound of other things we want to get done. It boils down to a matter of evaluating priorities and choosing to work hardest on the right ones.