The Caretaker

One of the essential roles God has given us is to be good caretakers of the gifts he has given us. Being obedient to Jesus means we are good caretakers of our properties, our finances, our relationships, our animals, our children, our selves. I am naturally a caretaker. It is written into my DNA. As a young child I never played with barbies, no I played with baby dolls and animals. I am drawn to broken things. I like to care for them. It’s also what I am good at. But there is one thing I am not so good at. Taking care of myself. I have never been very good at that. I take care of everyone else but me.

After my release from my second hospitalization I made a vow to God to do a better job of taking care of myself. I even bought a ring, wrote vows between myself and God. It was a vow to take care of ME. For I did not want to keep ending up in the hospital repeatedly. My own medical education has served me best in this regard. For my own education has taught me a lot about how to care of myself. For when I was younger it was not that I did not want to take good care of myself it was that I didn’t know how.

The Bible talks about being a good steward, being a good caretaker but it says little about practically how to do this in our modern world. To me this has been the place I have looked outside of my faith, the church and Christian literature for advice and guidance. For the church is not necessarily the expert in managing my health. The church is not necessarily the expert in managing my finances and properties. They may give general guidance but when it comes to real world practical advice there are many people out there who are more experienced and educated.

I believe it wise to seek these resources and guidance. I also believe the church should be promoting this type of thing. God has given us different gift and resources. He wants us to be good stewards of those things. Thus one of our first callings in this life should be to educate ourselves on how best to take care of those gifts. If we spent more time becoming better caretakers than watching the football game or a movie we might improve. We might be better spouses, parents, finance managers. We might grow the gifts God has given us. Sometimes it is the simple things that make the biggest impact.

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey,who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 25:14-30

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