Some days ago, as my prayer partner and I studied the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, my eyes practically got stuck on verse 9. Here’s Matthew 25:8-10:
8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked.
When the foolish virgins asked the wise virgins to give them some of their oil, they categorically refused to give them. They said, “NO!”
Do you know that there would have been a record of ten foolish virgins instead of five if the wise virgins in this parable had given out of their oil when asked?
As we know, wisdom is the application of knowledge. They knew that they did not have enough to spare and took steps in the direction of their ‘knowledge’. The five wise virgins were not said to be wise only because they took adequate oil with them but also because they understood when to say “NO”. They understood the time they were in- a time to refrain from giving. The first thing that could have come to their minds may be that it is “blessed to give.” And yes, it is. But they were not ruled by their emotions. They were sensitive enough to know that they shouldn’t give out of their oil to the ones who did not have enough oil to carry them through.
Jesus says we should love our neighbours as ourselves (not more than ourselves).
There’s no need to be sentimental. I’m guessing that if the wise virgins had given of their oil, they would have become ‘uncheerful’ givers and it they would have missed their appointment with the Lord for nothing- because their ‘acts of compassion’ wouldn’t have been rewarded either. Like the wise virgins, we must preserve our place in the Kingdom of God. This is so that we do not become signposts that direct others to the Kingdom while we ourselves miss out. No act of service is more important than your personal relationship with God. Having adequate oil in your life must be your priority.
The way most of us do ‘God’s work’ this day is actually more energy sapping than it is beneficial to our spirits. Stop neglecting the nourishment of your spirit because you are busy “ministering”.
Dear wise virgin, prepared and waiting for your LORD, take caution!
You cannot afford to run out of oil yourself while busy tending to others.
Getting drained? Go get a recharge of your battery and keep it charged!
I will send the foolish virgin’s letter soon. . .
-OMOSEBI Mary Omolola