He said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:12
Ours is a time of carelessness and waste. Taxpayers’ money is wasted when manufacturers overcharge the government for defense equipment. How different in the Civil War, when Commodore Foote told his riverboat gunners to make each shot count because, he said, each one costs the government eight dollars!
Wastefulness is common also in civilian life. We waste food when elsewhere many go hungry. Because of planned obsolescence, we throw away things still usable. Some people, even when on public welfare, waste what money they have by betting on horses or buying lottery tickets. Wastefulness leads to want.
Our Lord was opposed to wastefulness. After He had fed the multitude with a few loaves and fish, He told the disciples: “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
Our daily bread comes from God, for He gives rain and sunshine for crops to grow. It would be unthankfulness on our part to waste food. A resourceful cook knows how to make tasty meals from left-overs. And what food we don’t need for ourselves we can – and should – share with the hungry.
Much more serious is the waste of human beings who were made in the image of God – waste of their minds, waste of their skills, waste of the remaining talents of retired persons.
As there is misuse of goods that hurts people and dishonors God, so there is a right use of them – a use that glorified God, the Giver. When Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus’ feet with a precious ointment, Judas Iscariot called it a waste. But our Lord was pleased with this love offering (see John 12:1-8). Soon He would be crucified and would give His life for the salvation of all. He gave the best He had: Himself. We honor Him when we, instead of wasting our goods, give them to the poor.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God for Your gifts to me. Help me use them wisely and well. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)