Use It or Lose It
For a number of years, I have had a growing realization that blessings from God can be lost if we do not make use of them. Our bodies are marvelous and perform many functions, but we must exercise in order for the body to maintain its strength and workability. The body becomes weaker through inactivity caused by sickness or accidents. Physical therapy can help strengthen parts of the body through exercise.
A person’s knowledge can decrease if his mind is not exercised. I knew a little algebra once, but not any longer. Sometimes age affects our memory, but exercising the mind through reading and learning helps keep the mind sharp. Activity on our part is necessary to physical and mental health. The same is true in the spiritual realm.
Jesus, in the parable of the talents, shows that God given talents can be lost if they are not used. The two and five talent men both gained more talents because they made use of what they already had. But the one talent man buried his talent and was considered wicked, slothful, and would be punished. (Matthew 25:26, 30) Consider the following. “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” (Matthew 25:28-29) “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.” (Matthew 13:12) This ought to make us contemplate using all of God’s blessings lest we lose them.
God has given each of us a soul. Are you taking care of it? Our souls cry out for God. A person poor in spirit realizes that he needs God just as a man in dire poverty realizes his need for help. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) If you neglect your soul, you will lose it. (Matthew 16:27) In this same context, Jesus requires of us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Our Savior did His part in our salvation when he died on the cross for our sins. But a man must have an obedient faith to be saved. A faith that doesn’t move one to activity is a dead faith. “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20) Faith is not perfected without works of obedience. (James 2:22)
If one is to be eternally saved, he must keep the word. In Luke 8:6, 13, we learn that the seed (which is the word of God, Luke 8:11) was received by the rocky soil heart and was believed “for a while” but persecutions withered that faith and he fell away. The word of God produces faith. (Luke 8:13, Romans 10:17) Keeping the word in the Christian’s life produces a fruitful life. “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) If there is no fruit, it is an indication that the word of God has not been kept. Your soul can be lost if faith and God’s word are not maintained and practiced in your life.