Friday, July 7, 2017

Risky Business

“‘Master, I know you have high standards…you demand the best…I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound…’ The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this ‘play-it-safe’ who won’t go out on a limb.’” Matthew 25:24-30. (Combination translation from Lauren Chandler and The Message)

This parable told by Jesus is extremely applicable in living out our lives. Jesus tells of a situation between a master and his three servants. We are told that all three men are given an opportunity according to their abilities, which I am assuming would be their decision-making abilities. The one who was given the least made the decision to do nothing, and that is exactly what was gained for the master. No risk, no return, no sharing joy with the master. Instead, his master was furious and pointed out to his servant what was in his heart…fear and laziness.

So many times, we also choose to forego opportunities given by God. We rationalize why we don’t take advantage of a situation that suddenly arises. Or we sit back and just wait for God to show up, instead of thinking on our feet and using our abilities to serve Him. Sometimes, we need to wait on God to bring the opportunity to us. Other times, we need to take some risks and earn some interest in His kingdom. We need to show Him we will be fruitful with the abilites in which He entrusted us…our time…our gifts…our resources. We cannot be lazy or fearful with what He has entrusted us, and must be fruitful in accomplishing our best for God. Afterall, our best is the very least we can do for Him. Many times in my life, I have played-it-safe and a few times I have gone out on a limb for Him. I can attest that the times I have gone out on a limb, I have been able to ‘share my master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21b) It is not our natural inclination to enbolden ourselves in new activities, but God desires to grow us up through these opportunities and share in His blessings.

Prayer for wisdom and guidance is extremely important, but we cannot be that servant who plays it safe every time. We must be courageous and responsive to the opportunities sent by the Master.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:21.

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