Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
My friend’s parents owned a small store, and I spent one particular summer hanging around there quite a bit. One day, his father gave us a few bucks and told us to go get some lunch. This was a residential area but near a main thoroughfare with shops and restaurants. We were only 10 or 11 years old, so our idea of getting lunch did not really match his father’s. Instead of hitting up the pizzeria around the corner, which was a favorite of ours, we went to the drug store for candy and gum. When we returned with our haul, he was livid. That man took the candy and gum we had bought, and he took the rest of his change as well. He never again sent us out for lunch on his dime.
God has tiny treasures for us. Many of these treasures were spoken by Jesus himself, and that is where we find these great parables. Jesus had a lot to teach those who were willing to listen and learn. The teachings of God were available and free to anyone who wanted to listen, but the person had to have an open ear. Learning from these stories of Jesus is about understanding their meaning and then using that knowledge moving forward. Just like the friend’s father who gave us money for lunch, he wanted us to use that resource wisely for that purpose. Instead of taking care of the need we had, we squandered that little treasure, and he never trusted us that way again. He even took back from us what little treasure remained in our pockets.
God is not one to waste, and He looks very poorly upon those who waste what He has given them. He is like the friend who has a bottomless treasure trove of good advice to give. He gives us that advice, and the hope is that we would heed it. Of course, if we ignore that good advice, we really cannot expect to receive more of it. Eventually, it becomes clear that the advice is being wasted on us, and that is when we can expect it to end. When we do and say things to show that we prefer our own advice, that we know better and can figure things out ourselves, God will take back his treasure and leave us to our own devices. Father, help us not be wasteful with the treasures You share with us, and make these words take root in us.