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The misuse and squandering of resources. God condemns the waste of resources which he provides, especially spiritual provisions such as grace and opportunity. Sometimes extravagance in God’s service is mistaken for waste.

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Waste of material resources

Squandering is folly

Luke 15:13–16 NASB95
“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. “Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. “So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. “And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.
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As a consequence of yielding to temptation

Proverbs 29:3 NASB95
A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.
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Jesus Christ avoids waste

John 6:12–13 NASB95
When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

Spiritual resources should not be wasted

God’s grace

Jonah 2:8 NASB95
“Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness,
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God-given abilities


Opportunities for service

Ephesians 5:16 NASB95
making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
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Spiritual teaching

Spiritual teaching is wasted if inappropriate to the spiritual capacity of the hearers.
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Examples of wasted lives


Esau lived for the pleasures of the moment and threw away his spiritual inheritance:



Though Samson did retrieve something at the end of his life, his spiritual gift of supernatural strength was largely wasted through his indulgence in sexual immorality.

King Saul

; Through natural strength and spiritual gifts Saul had the prospect of establishing a successful royal dynasty. The future was lost through disobedience and the end of his reign was wasted through jealousy.

Judas Iscariot

Judas had the best of opportunities--three years with Jesus Christ. This was thrown away in a moment of personal ambition.

Devotion to God is not waste

Matthew 26:6–13 NASB95
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? “For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. “For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. “Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
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Waste as the destruction of life and land

The frailty of human beings

Job 13:28 NASB95
While I am decaying like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
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Waste as a result of the judgment of God

Jeremiah 34:22 NASB95
‘Behold, I am going to command,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring them back to this city; and they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.’ ”
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