August 29

Text: Matthew 25:8, 9

"And the foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'But the prudent answered, saying, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.'”   (NASB)

The moment of awareness came!  Have you experienced a moment of awareness?  All of a sudden you become aware that your lack of preparation was based on a false assumption.  Suddenly the time to prepare was over.  Immediately you became aware that the failure to prepare adequately contained unwanted and inescapable consequences.  As a result, you began to sweat.  A friend refers to such situations as producing “flop sweat.”

Instantly that person’s brain goes into high gear as he/she considers ways to “fix” the situation that will avoid unwanted consequences.  Inevitably the first “fix” is “you” have to take care of my problem.  Such people say, “Be generous, have pity on me, and bail me out.”  In this parable, share your extra oil.

As stated before, the lamps were quite small.  The most common lamps would fit in a person’s palm.  The five who brought extra oil did not bring a large container of oil.  Sharing their extra oil was not a solution—such just spread the disaster.

The five who brought extra oil suggested a responsible approach to the problem: go buy your own oil.

Do not approach your own accountability by thinking, “Others will care for my situation for me.”  There are some personal needs only you can care for.  The solution for meeting the bridegroom was not “You take care of me.” 

While it is true there are times we need to depend on each other, there are also times when our irresponsible behavior can destroy others.

Suggestion for reflection: Distinguish between irresponsible behavior and experiencing unexpected events.  (Read Galatians 6:1-10.)

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