After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
- Matthew 25:19
The master stayed away for a long time. The servants may have wondered if he would ever return. Those who had put their money to work kept it working. The one who buried it left it buried. Life rolled on until that fateful day when the master returned and called in the servants to give an account of their stewardship.
Our master will hold us accountable for what we do with what he’s entrusted to us. Whether this sounds like good news to you or terrifying news depends on a few things: your faithfulness to honor your master with what he’s entrusted to you AND your relationship with this generous master.
Some of us know we’ve messed up. We’ve squandered or hidden our resources. We’ve used them all up on ourselves or haven’t paid close enough attention. We keep meaning to get more serious about our finances or our schedule or our volunteering, but life just keeps getting in the way.
Our master tarries, taking his time before stepping back onto the scene to hold us accountable. That can be a cue for us to keep goofing around or a mercy from God to give us time to get our affairs in order.
The long time between “entrusting” and “holding accountable” can also have an effect on those of you who have been diligent. As time passes, you can be tempted to be proud, to think more highly of yourself than you should. To think that your hustle makes you special.
Wherever you are on the spectrum, your relationship with the master makes a tremendous difference. If you’ve messed up, you need to know that you have a heavenly Father who loves you and is giving you time to repent. If you’ve been faithful, this time of waiting gives you space to grow your sense of gratitude to God and to see how much you can accomplish with what he’s entrusted to you.
We will each be held accountable by our master, the God who knows us and loves us, the One who only wants the best for us, the Savior who invested everything he had for us and for our salvation.
How does the approach of accountability shape the way you handle what God has entrusted with you?