Jesus speaking: “Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like the wealthy man who went on a long journey and summoned all his trusted servants and assigned his financial management over to them. Before he left on his journey, he entrusted a bag of five thousand gold coins to one of his servants, to another a bag of two thousand gold coins, and to the third a bag of one thousand gold coins, each according to his ability to manage.
“The one entrusted with five thousand gold coins immediately went out and traded with the money, and he doubled his investment (emphasis added).In the same way, the one who was entrusted with two thousand gold coins traded with the sum and likewise doubled his investment (emphasis added).But the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
“After much time* had passed, the master returned to settle accounts with his servants. The one who was entrusted with five thousand gold coins came and brought ten thousand, saying, ‘See, I have doubled your money.’” (*We don’t know how “much time” this was, but if he earned 7.2% on the money, dividing 7.2 into 72 tells us that the money doubled in 10 years, whereas 36% divided into 72 says that he would double his master’s money in 2 years.)
“Commending his servant, the master replied, ‘You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you have been a faithful steward to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, “Come celebrate with me!”’
“Then the one who had been entrusted with two thousand gold coins came in and said, ‘See, my master, I have doubled what you have entrusted to me.’
“Commending his servant, the master replied, ‘You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you were faithful to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, “Come celebrate with me!”’
“Then the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins came to his master and said, ‘Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others. I was afraid of you, so I went and hid your money and buried it in the ground. But here it is—take it, it’s yours.’
“Angered by what he heard, the master said to him, ‘You’re an untrustworthy and lazy servant! If you knew I was a shrewd and ruthless business man who always makes a profit, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank?Then I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand.For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.’
“Then the master said to his other servants, ‘Now, throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish!’” (Matthew 25:14-30, TPT)
Who can honestly say after reading this that God does not approve investing money so as to double it … or that His approval is not demonstrated by His entrusting faithful stewards with even more wealth to cultivate and grow? Who can, likewise, say that God does not strongly disapprove of those who choose not to learn and then practice this skill?” Yes, it’s about faithfulness, but, pointedly, faithfulness as manifested in a certain critically important arena.
“Oh, but,” someone may object, “it’s about money … and cites scripture; it must be related to the ‘Prosperity Gospel,’ and we KNOW that God disapproves that!”
Does He? What else does He disapprove?
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV)
That’s right: He disapproves a man’s failure to provide for his own household, a critical component of the faith. I’m going to go out on a limb here and posit that, therefore, God would consider it MORE providing for one’s own household to NOT have them living in a broken down single-wide house trailer on the wrong side of the tracks, driving a 1973 Pinto, and eating mainly government cheese.
But many will rise up against this idea of gaining wealth (as contrasted with gaining other things, such as sheep in the fold) as being, somehow, unbiblical. That opinion comes from a wrongful view of money, for money is but a tool operating on principles that our Creator set into motion, no more to be held in disdain than the air beneath the wings of a jetliner that, through the application of other created principles, supports the movement of men and metal far above the surface of the earth in relative safety and efficiency.
Now, noting that money has the multiplying characteristics of seed is not to say that one should send it to some shamanistic TV evangelist in hopes (“faith”) that God will bless that “seed planting” and make one wealthy. But without understanding, unfortunately, the poor eat their seed, through ignorance, irresponsibility, being indoctrinated with false doctrines, etc.
God WILL grow your seed – He programmed it into each seed to grow – but only if you PLANT it. The harvest comes to those who plant – not to those who (only) PRAY but to those who (also, at least) PLANT. Yes, there are exceptions (to the good harvest rule), as we see in Jesus’ parable about the sower. Some seed just goes into bad soil or faces insurmountable opposition. That will happen when one does not learn to identify good soil. (And why else would we care about finding good soil? We don’t eat soil. Soil’s sole purpose is to allow us to grow seed.) But nothing in that can be taken in any way as a condemnation of sowing the seed, nor does it stop you from planting other seed in other soil. You must plant, or you sin (miss the mark).
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11, KJV)
A farmer who will not drag himself out of bed to prepare the soil, plant the seed, cultivate the seed and then harvest the seed, is a no-account farmer.
Each one of us is, in our own individual way, a farmer.
Now, farmers don’t typically make a lot of money. Many are blessed to break even. There are too many variables at play that are simply out of their control. But they must plant to be in the game. Planting is the ONE variable that is completely under their control and, ultimately, the only one God can bless. And when God does bless with a bountiful harvest of new seed, we rejoice with the farmer for all the right reasons; we do not accuse him of being greedy, right?
When dealing with money, there are plots of soil that practically guarantee a good return, a healthy harvest. Learn them (that’s part of your ground prep), then plant there. For example, the stock market has averaged 10-12% since its inception 100 years ago. Do your own research. Read Dave Ramsey. Listen to whomever. But banks don’t pay 12%. So, putting your money in the bank at a rate of return less than inflation and taxes (rocks and thorns infesting otherwise good soil) is doing just what the wicked servant did who dug a hole and hid the talent that his master gave him. We have to do better than that.
We have each been given an inexhaustible supply of seed. How much should we plant? As much as we can. Enough to meet our needs … and then some – enough to give some to others around us who either cannot plant seed or who have not yet learned how. But we need to learn to think like the ant – who thinks Winter all Summer – so as not to become one of the needy. And we do not need to be timid about planting a large enough crop so as to gain more options as to places to plant and others we can help. We need to grow our supply to fit our mission, and along the way realize that God has given us each a mission that is larger than we imagine we can ever plant seed for. But we can: the secret is in the seed.
If we fail to plant and grow all that we possibly can, we fail to realize all that God has for us, and the ramifications of that failure to plant / produce / provide touches all of our life, even manifesting in that which we might regard as primarily “spiritual.”
As you plant and the seed produces, your confidence will grow as does your ability to see the possibilities of service that God has placed before you.