Tony Evans tweeted Monday:
You cannot waste what God gives you and then ask Him for more.
Of course you can, Tony.
God’s Blessings on the Wasteful
One of Jesus’ best-known stories was the one about the Prodigal Son, and if there was ever a wastrel who came back and asked for more it was that kid. He didn’t want much but still he came back asking for more after wasting his father’s riches.
You know what his father said in response? He told the son to stop that dithering and accept the riches of the father’s house all over again.
You also know who it was that said the kid couldn’t waste what the father had given and then ask for more? That was the older brother, the character representing Pharisees who enslaved people with their rules and buried them under their legalism.
The problem with Dr. Evans’s tweet, then, is that it is pharisaical, legalistic, and completely stuck in a gospel of rules and not the New Covenant gospel of grace. What’s even more disturbing is that if you click on the link above you’ll see that this phrase is not just an unfortunate random tweet. It’s apparently taken from a devotional poster created by Dr. Evans’s ministry. He should know better, but he publicizes this type of bad doctrine anyway.
A Doctrine of Grace for Wasteful People
Here’s what I know:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19.)
Paul didn’t write that God will do this for those who never waste anything he gives them. He said “God will” and said it without any strings attached.
This is not just a New Covenant phenomenon either. When Jeremiah saw the downfall of the Kingdom of Judah because of apostasy, a people turning away from God repeatedly, he wrote:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23.)
The Israelites wasted one blessing after another, yet in the midst of his lament Jeremiah proclaimed that God’s blessings continued anew each morning, that his compassion never ends. Does that sound like a God whose people should be told that if they waste his resources they can’t come back and ask for more?
Tony, Tony, Tony … wake up and read the Bible!
I’ll go with God’s grace and continue to rely on my heavenly Father for his unending riches even if I’ve just wasted what he last gave me.*
That’s the gospel truth.
*I know the parable of the talents says those who are unfaithful with a little will be thrown out “into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30.) Since Jesus promised that God never abandons his people (John 10:28-29), the wasteful outcasts must be people who are not Christians.