[forthright] Wasted Resources

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 07:07:13 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
Straight to the Cross

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Wasted Resources
 by Tim Hall

As one who has gardened, I often marvel at the process.
In the spring I till the ground and bury small seeds
under the soil.

Over the next few weeks the plants grow and vegetables
are produced. I sometimes think, as I eat the beans
I've harvested, of the phenomenon I've witnessed. Out
of inedible dirt has come nourishing food for me and my

The wise man had this in mind in Proverbs 13:23: "Much
food is in the fallow ground of the poor, and for lack
of justice there is waste" (NKJV).

The first part of the proverb is what we've described:
the wonder of being able to make food appear out of the
ground. The second part points to unrealized potential.
It speaks of soil that could do much good, but instead
lies fallow (untilled).

Why was this ground not put to work? There are two
views of what the writer had in mind. First, some say
that the injustice of others has kept the poor man from
working his field. Someone seized his assets and that
is why he remains poor.

Others argue that "justice" is better translated as
"judgment." It refers to the landowner's slothfulness.
His lack of industriousness keeps the food in the soil.
What might have been will never be because he is lazy
or distracted by other pursuits.

In either event, God has provided a resource that has
the potential to bless many. How sad when those
resources are wasted!

Many Christians have learned the fine art of "poor
mouthing." When asked about their involvement in the
work of the kingdom, they reply that they're not
capable of doing the work. Someone else will have to
carry the burden. But is that really true? Are there
some who have been given no resources at all?

Peter answered that question clearly: "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).

In the next verse he mentioned two such gifts: speaking
(whether in preaching or in conversation), and
ministering our various gifts to others. No one,
though, can truthfully claim to be without any gifts at

As I dig potatoes from the soil in the fall, I'm made
aware of the grace of God. Energy invested in tilling
the ground will bless me and others whom I love. But
will I also till the spiritual soil God has provided?
Using these resources, I'll bring blessings upon myself
and others.

How sad to see rich soil left untended!

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