by Tim Hall
Those who receive resources are accountable.
Numbers and dollars are not my areas of expertise. Yet when the end of the month arrives, I go through the routine of gathering receipts and expenditure logs. If I’m late with the task, I receive friendly but firm reminders to get it done.
I don’t like this simple exercise in accounting, but I do like having a credit card for expenses I encounter. Because this resource has been given to me, I’m expected to give an account of how I have used it.
The same is happening on a larger scale in our nation. For too long, some financial institutions have engaged in risky lending practices. Loans have been made without sufficient backing and the dominoes are now falling. Criminal investigations are under way to learn who is accountable for the most troubling monetary crisis of the present generation.
Accountability is a prominent theme in God’s word. Jesus based a parable on the idea: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward'” (Luke 16:1,2, NKJV).
Those are chilling words: “Give an account of your stewardship!” When such words are heard in a work place, we suspect the ax is ready to fall. Is it possible God might use those words toward us?
The scenario is not just possible, but predictable. A fact we must never forget is that God regards us as stewards. Here’s how Peter described it: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
“Each one” of us have been given resources by God. They’re not ours to abuse or to waste, but to use for best effect in God’s kingdom. Have we been treating these gifts as resources on loan? How will we account for our use of God’s gifts?
Every good resource we hold in our hands has been given to us by God. One day there will be a reckoning, and we’ll be required to step forward, one by one. “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
The money in my possession, the words my tongue is able to form, the smile my face can show, the time that is mine to use as I choose – all of these are resources God has bestowed. It’s my choice how I will use them. But may I never forget that one day I will give an account.
by Tim Hall