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Fear Not. Use Your Talent
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 by Brave Knight Writers

Jesus spoke a parable according to Matthew 25: 14-30 which has popped up in our circles several times in last few weeks. One such place was on page 176 in Unshakeable: Facing Your Giants in God’s Strength: a 90-day journey in faith. A book brought to you by The Word for You Today. Pondering the passage as written in my Life Application Study Bible New International Version, I came to some conclusions about several key elements.

Of course, the main theme as spelled out in my Bible’s interpretation is the Lord’s departure and his return as stated in Matthew 25:21. The failure of one of the servants in Matthew 25: 24-30 is caused by fear and an unwillingness to serve. In Matthew 25: 29-30 the rewards received by those not living in fear, who work and invest their blessings are said to increase, while those who live in fear will exist with weeping and gnashing of teeth. These elements jump off the page, the message is clear. So, try to envision elements which exist between the lines. We are taught to fear God, he is all powerful and the creator of all things, this makes it necessary to delve into the emotion of fear and understand the difference between survival fear and crippling fear. It takes courage to sort out the cause and effect of fear. What a paradox. God wants us to have courage, fear not, and yet fear. Our courage is a gift from the Lord that we can nurture and increase.

God tells us to invest. He rewards those who do his work and invest their talents. What does investment entail? Investment requires risk versus return assessment and takes many forms; economic, emotional, intellectual, and even time. This parable doesn’t address what obstacles were faced while the master was gone. Did any investments fail? We know by the end of the story, two of the servants succeed in increasing the blessings of the Lord, but this can’t be the entire story, can it? How many of us have courageously invested in things which failed to provide a return? Many invest and work at a marriage, invest in their children, grandchildren, a home, or financial instruments, only to receive nothing or even are robbed in return. What of those who lost out by betrayal of a spouse, ungrateful children and grandchildren, or a home whose value has fallen?

The other element I ponder is the master leaves and returns. Jesus left, but the Holy Spirit is wherever invited. God is beside us as we toil and struggle. The one who was afraid also didn’t believe, for he thought, like Adam and Eve, he could hide from God. The Master had reason for only giving this servant one talent, he already knew his heart. He entrusted one with five talents— a good start— but the man also worked, we don’t know what losses he encountered and yet recovered. Same as with the servant given two talents, I am sure God watched how each handled their losses as much as their gains.

One factor to consider is the more you have, the more you could lose. This element has the potential to generate great fear. In the end, how we respond to our troubles should weigh as much as what we gained, but there are no rewards for the coward.

God blesses us, so share blessings, work them, and use your talents without fear of loss.

Talent is an interesting word. In Jesus’ time, a talent was the equivalent of 15 years’ salary. In the ancient world of Greece and Rome, to possess five-talents would equate to being a millionaire in our times.

Do your God-given talents indicate you are a millionaire? Yes. Have you unearthed those talents?

These are some of my thoughts. I don’t offer any answers, other than find courage and serve the Lord, for everything comes from Him and belongs to Him. The words of the failed servant, condemn him, “…harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.”   

    

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