vs. Wastefulness
Wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard

Key Verse

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
LUKE 16:10

The operational definition of resourcefulness is “making wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard.” God promises to provide everything you need. (See Matthew 6:32–33.) You may miss His provision when you discard an item without considering other ways it could be used. A resourceful person will look for ways to repurpose items, especially when facing a difficulty or need. He also knows how to find the tools and information necessary to solve problems. As you learn to think creatively, you may be able to see other ways to utilize what you already have, maximizing the benefits of the possessions, abilities, and time that God has entrusted to you.

George Washington Carver (c. 1864–1943) discovered many new uses for peanuts, including milk, plastic, paint, soap, lotion, and ink!
Wasteful people throw away what could have been used to meet a need.

The opposite of resourcefulness is wastefulness. Wastefulness occurs when a person has a limited view of how an item, possession, or opportunity can be used. He discards belongings simply because they are broken or no longer look fresh and new. He will make new purchases instead of repairing or cleaning what he already owns. A wasteful person overlooks what he has and, as a result, allows his belongings to rot or rust while they sit unused. God has created each person with unique ideas and talents and given each one the energy and time to accomplish good works. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Are you improving your skills and using your time wisely? Or are you neglecting the talents and abilities God has given you? Are you letting your energy go to waste and your time slip away? Giving God the first part of your day by meditating on Scripture and spending time in prayer will help guide you in how best to use your time. Are you “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16)?

Evaluation Questions

  • Am I wisely using the possessions God has entrusted to me, or am I allowing them to go to waste?
  • Do I see potential usefulness in items someone else is overlooking or discarding?
  • Do I seek to find ways God may have provided for my needs through what I already have?
  • When I am lacking a certain tool or item for a task, do I look for another object that might safely substitute to meet the need?
  • Am I faithfully developing the talents and abilities God has given me?
  • When facing a difficult situation, do I tend to give up, or do I ask God for a creative solution?
  • Am I aware of the talents and skills of others who may be able to help me when I lack in those areas?
  • Do I continually evaluate in order to discern whether or not God would have me keep trying or take the project in a different direction?

More About Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is finding the assets that God has already provided.
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Resourcefulness with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:


Find what I need.

“Go your way into the village, . . . ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him . . . .” Mark 11:2–3

Use what I have.

“And he [Gideon] divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. . . . the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands . . . and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” Judges 7:16, 20

Be a good steward.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” I Corinthians 4:1–2

Share with others.

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

Exercise my talents.

“From following the ewes great with young he [God] brought him [David] to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.” Psalm 78:71–72

See value in objects, ideas, and people.

“. . . in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3–4

Repair what is broken.

“And they gave the money . . . to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the Lord . . . .” II KINGS 12:11–12

Give away or sell the things I do not use.

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Acts 2:44–45

Find ways to improve my situation.

“Four leprous men . . . said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. . . . And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp . . . .” II Kings 7:3–5a

Wisely use my time, talents, energy, and mind.

“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” Proverbs 20:29

Resourcefulness in Scripture

Provisions for Building the Tabernacle

“And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold . . . an offering of gold unto the Lord.”
EXODUS 35:22
Two months after their deliverance from Egypt, the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai. There God instructed the people to sanctify themselves in preparation for the giving of the Law. Three days later, He spoke from the mountain, promising to cherish Israel as His chosen people as they obeyed His commandments. When Moses ascended Mt. Sinai, God gave him the Ten Commandments as well as instructions for building a tabernacle. The Tabernacle would represent God’s presence among His people. While Moses was on the mountain those forty days, the people became restless. They demanded that Aaron make for them a god. In response, Aaron melted the golden earrings the people had, using the metal to fashion a golden calf like the gods they had seen in Egypt. When Moses returned, he was angry that the people had wasted their resources to worship an idol instead of God! As a result of their wickedness, 3,000 men of Israel died that day. Moses pleaded for God’s forgiveness on behalf of the people. After Moses met with God on Mt. Sinai a second time, he gathered the people and gave them God’s instructions concerning the Tabernacle. Where would the people obtain the materials to build this dwelling place for God? What resources did they have that they could use for God’s glory?

Revealed in Nature

Tiger Muskie

A tiger muskie will eat virtually anything that fits in its mouth, including ducks, frogs, rats, squirrels, water snakes, and smaller fish. This fish resourcefully feeds on that which others consider useless or undesirable.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. Through this study, children are motivated to see additional value in the possessions and abilities God has entrusted to them.

View the Resourcefulness booklet sample:

Get the complete Resourcefulness booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Resourcefulness

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“Take care of the minutes; the hours will take care of themselves.”
Lord Chesterfield