The scripture above denotes the importance of us protecting what is near and dear to us. We have to be careful with our time and resources and ensure that we don’t end up feeling drained and used. Let us consider a story in the bible about the ten virgins. Five of them were wise and five of them were foolish and they took lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. The wise virgins took their lamps and took a flask of oil with them while the foolish virgins took their lamps but took no oil with them. The bridegroom was delayed and the virgins slept and at midnight there was a cry to meet the bridegroom. At this time the virgins arose to trim their lamps. The foolish virgins asked the wise virgins to share their oil because their lamps had gone out.
“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves” (Matthew 25:9). The foolish virgins went to find oil to buy to trim their lamps. While they were out buying, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the marriage feast. The result is that they were left behind and missed out on entering the feast. The important point for me in the story relates to the request from the foolish virgins for the wise to share their oil with them. People could view the wise virgins as being selfish and uncaring.
You have to ask yourself why the foolish virgins didn’t prepare ahead of time. I believe that the oil represents their substance and spiritual maturity which flowed from time invested in serving God. There are some believers who remain on fire for God due to their diligence in sacrificing their time in the presence of God. There are believers who make the word of God their constant companion in order to increase in knowledge and wisdom. I am not saying that it is a bad thing to encourage and support other believers who are weak in the faith. The bible says that they who are strong are to bear the infirmities of the weak.
The reality is that some people are not inclined to do what it takes to grow spiritually, but wish to rely on the anointing of others to help carry them along. You have to be discerning to cut off those relationships that are draining your time and energy. You cannot share your oil with people who are foolish and never trying to gain wisdom from God. Don’t be guilted into constantly overextending yourself as you will end up experiencing burn out and eventually become resentful.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).