Overcoming Darkness

Abandoned Property Law

Are there parts of my  faith that I’ve abandoned like a bank account I ignored so long that the state of California threatened to seize it as “abandoned property”?

I recently received a letter from a bank telling me that I must contact the bank within 30 days. Otherwise, my savings account at that bank would be deemed “abandoned property” under state law and seized by California.

I immediately signed the form letter and mailed it to the bank.

That got me thinking.

Are there parts of my faith that I’ve neglected so long that they could be deemed “abandoned”?

Note that I was still interacting with a number of other financial accounts. It was just this one account that I was neglecting.

The Apostle Paul worried about any failure to follow the whole will of God. When he said good-bye to the elders of the Church at Ephesus, he reminded them that the whole time he had ministered to them, he had been careful to teach them the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:20,27 KJV).

Similarly, Paul worried that we might not make full use of all the gifts the Spirit of the LORD has given us. He urged Timothy: “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” (1 Timothy 4:14).

Jesus himself warned us to use all our gifts. In a story, he praised good and faithful servants who used each and every gift they were entrusted with. But he condemned a “wicked, lazy servant” who hid his gift and didn’t use it at all. (Matthew 25:14-30).

Jesus warned that—just like money in the State of California—unused gifts will be taken away from those who “abandoned” them. (Matthew 25:28-29).

But take heart!

Jesus also encouraged us.

If we are good and faithful servants, then we will be given ever greater skills and responsibilities.

If we have shown ourselves to be diligent and wise stewards of the skills and responsibilities that come our way, then ever greater skills and responsibilities will come our way. (Matthew 25:29).


For more of my thoughts on related ideas, please read my blogs “Faith That Wins a Super Bowl Ring”, “Timothy: A Good Teacher”, “Timothy: A Good Shepherd”, “Timothy: A Good Team Player”, “The Good Dentist: Deep Cleanings”, “Honoring God with Only Our Lips”, “Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God”, and “Go to a ‘Collision Repair Shop’”.

For more of my thoughts on related ideas, please read “PART FOUR: Paul Nurtures the Early Churches” in my book Lighting the World, at pages 117-153.