Stew and Park were very happy when they finished carpentry school. They were ready to be
expert builders. In the summer after their graduation, they both got jobs with a very good
building firm. They each were given a project to complete and were very excited. They each
took their tools to the construction site and looked at the plans for their buildings. Stew studied
the plans carefully and prepared a list of materials. When they arrived, he started to work
carefully following the plan and keeping a detailed list of materials he used and time he spent
on every aspect of the project. Stew worked hard ten hours everyday, but always took time to
rest and refresh himself daily.
Park was very anxious to get started. Instead of making a detailed materials list, he ordered
large quantities of the things he thought he might need. After reviewing the plans, he made
several “improvements”, knowing his new employer would be happy with the initiative he
showed. He even changed the location of the building fifty yards further south because the
land was more level and offered a better view. Park often spied on Stew’s progress, laughing to
himself at how slowly he was getting things done. He also thought it was a waste of time to
keep such careful records. After all, he thought “my employer will be so happy with my
building he won’t even care about record keeping.” Park worked twelve to fourteen hours
everyday. You never know, he thought, when the employer might arrive. Park wanted to be far
ahead of Stew when he came. He didn’t waste time putting small pieces of wood together. He
would always cut from a full sheet, even if it left a lot of waste.
Stew was making regular progress, checking and double checking the plan and the
measurements so everything would be just right and very little would be wasted. He paid no
attention to Park. His only concern was making sure he carried out his employer’s wishes and
making the best use of all the employer’s resources.
The day finally came. The employer was coming. Stew and Park were both very excited.
Stew kept working as he was, but Park was frantically trying to get every little detail finished.
Park knew the employer would be very pleased with his building and all he had gotten done.
He even felt sorry for Stew, figuring he would probably get demoted or fired. Park knew he
would be getting a promotion. After all, he had done much more than Stew. His building was
much larger and better looking.
The employer went to Stew first. Stew approached him very respectfully, shook his hand,
showed him the ledger and then the building he made, which was exactly as the employer had
wanted it built. The employer was very happy with Stew. He gave him a raise and
immediately put him in charge of his biggest projects. When Park saw how generous his
employer was, he was sure great things were coming his way.
Park quickly walked up to his employer, looked him in the eye, shook his hand and patted
him on the back, as if they had been close friends for years. Park was absolutely beaming. He
had a big smile on his face and could not wait to see how pleased the employer would be with
all he had done. The employer looked around in astonishment! What have you done! This
building cost twice as much to build as it should have, and because of the changes you made, it
will never be suitable for its intended purpose. Not only that, but you built it fifty yards too far
south. It is in the flood plain; in the spring, the runoff will wash it away.
You stole from me, you did not carry out my instructions and you wasted my resources.
Instead of getting promoted, he was sent to jail.
Is your building useful for God, or are you doing what seems best to you? “ In those days
Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right.” [Judges 7:16 NET] If
God is not the King of our lives, we will all move in different directions and become useless to
God and each other.
We are coworkers belonging to God. You are God’s field,
God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like
a skilled masterbuilder
I laid a foundation, but someone else
builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. For
no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid,
which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with
gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each
builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it
clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test
what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built
survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned
up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as
through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:915
We can work very hard in this life, but if we are not following The Master’s plan, all of our
works can be burned up. “For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ
Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.” [Ephesians
2:10 NET] God has prepared works in advance for us to do. We must do His Good Works.
Very often we try to improve on God’s plan; but when we do, we accomplish nothing good for
“ The place where they serve is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as
Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says, ‘See
that you make everything according to the design shown to you on the mountain’.”
[Hebrews 8:5 NET] We are God’s Tabernacle (Temple) because God, through Christ, dwells in
us. We must be careful to do everything according to The Master’s plan.
To The Glory Of God