By Jen Wojtysiak, BS, ThM • National Student Ministries Director, Nurses Christian Fellowship
As nurses we have been entrusted with the most valuable treasure on earth - the life of another. We are used to caring for the health and well-being of those entrusted to our care - our patients. We meticulously plan and execute their care. Thinking through what makes the most sense, staying steps ahead of what they might need.
Beyond our work as nurses, we also care for those around us, our friends and families. We have been entrusted with relationships and roles of significance in so many places. Often, because of all that is on our plate, we can forget or neglect another aspect of what has been entrusted to us. Ourselves.
We have also been entrusted with our own care: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. Another way to look at that last aspect is we have been given stewardship over our career. Stewarding our career can seem like a negotiable, I get it. It's hard to sacrifice time and energy when we have so many other demands. But stewardship is an idea we see throughout scripture. One theme we see emerge repeatedly is the idea and invitation to steward our gifts, talents and calling. As nurses we believe that part of our call to follow him at this juncture in our lives is to say yes to his call on our lives to be a nurse. To use our talents and gifts as caregivers. Just as we plan for the care of our patients, we can steward our careers as nurses as well.
We are picking up the Matthew 25 passage as part of Jesus’ discourse where he is giving instructions to his disciples. He is encouraging them to endure through difficult times and live as though the Lord’s return is imminent. This parable does not justify a gospel prosperity as it has been misused to represent in the past, Instead, it challenges believers to be like their Master (the Lord) by using all that God has given them for the sake of the kingdom.
Hearing the Word
Read the passage carefully making note of repeated words, phrases and ideas.
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 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.
16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 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.’ 21 “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!’
22 “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.’ 23 “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!’
24 “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. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 “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? 27 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.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 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. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25: 14 – 30, NIV)
Responding to the Word
The concept of stewardship is to take what God has entrusted to you and take care of it, taking responsibility for it in such a way it becomes more than what it started as. We see this throughout scripture, whether it is stewarding creation or our finances. The same can be applied to our lives. We have been entrusted with our lives. To care for them, and take responsibility for all aspects of our lives, including our careers.
- Who are the main characters in the Matthew passage? Who do you resonate within the passage and why?
- Just as the master expects his servants to use the resources for serving their master and increasing his kingdom so God wants us to use the resources he has given to us for building his kingdom. How are you doing that now? How does your role as a nurse build his kingdom?
- In its literary setting, Jesus tells this story to his disciples (24:3) to prepare them for the days ahead when their faith will be tested. This parable is instructing the disciples to be faithful. How have you been faithful in your career thus far? What might the Lord be inviting you to consider as you faithfully follow him as a nurse?
- How might the Lord be encouraging, inviting, or challenging you this day as you consider stewarding your career?
- In your season of life what might be a next step for you in this area?
- How can you invest in your own professional development? Ideas might include: reading a book, attending an online workshop, or finding a mentor.
Finding the time to invest in your career can be challenging. Consider these steps to build in time naturally to you day. Podcasts on your daily commute or while you are getting ready for the day. Setting small and achievable goals such as reading for 30 minutes a week over your lunch break.
In closing, we get to use all that God has entrusted to us for his glory and our joy! We don’t do this in our own strength but through discernment and reliance on the Holy Spirit who we trust to guide all aspects of our lives, including our careers and development.
Jen Wojtysiak, BS, ThM, is a Wisconsin-born native and a field leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She has a heart for ministry and mission in the university setting. Jen provides leadership as the Student Ministries Director of Nurses Christian Fellowship to our student ministry nationwide.