“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge–” (1 Timothy 6:20).
In the business world, a person who holds a “fiduciary duty” is someone who is responsible to act in the best interests of another. Much like Timothy was instructed to guard what had been committed to his trust, God’s people have also been entrusted with a responsibility to represent the best interests of the God who has given us all we possess.
Consider the emphasis on personal responsibility here in the penultimate verse of 1 Timothy…
“…protect what has been entrusted to you” (NET).
“…guard what God has placed in your care!” (CEV).
“…Keep safe what has been entrusted to you” (CJB).
This should prompt us to ask an important question: what has God entrusted to our care? Some obvious answers to that question might include things like time, money, and/or material possessions. The way we use those resources can often tell a lot about our internal priorities. However, there may be other things that are entrusted to our care that are not so obvious.
For instance, there are intangible assets that include our talents, skills, gifts, and abilities. The New Testament book of 1 Peter touches upon our responsibility to use these assets in a God-honoring manner: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
Other examples might include a spouse, a child, a student, a friend, or others who have been entrusted to us. If we view those relationships as investments for eternity, we will be certain to guard them appropriately. While it is true that there are some who may not permit us to invest in their lives, that should not dissuade us from at least attempting to do so.
Thus, this passage should serve to awaken our sense of responsibility. It should also bring Jesus’ Parable of the Talents to our remembrance. That parable relates the account of a servant who was entrusted with a valuable asset but failed to invest it properly. That asset was then taken from him and given to someone who could be trusted to manage it appropriately (see Matthew 25:14-30).
This brings us to Jesus’ closing message from that parable, a conclusion that is both encouraging and sobering…
“…to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29).