In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus makes the point that it isn’t the amount of talent we’re given that matters. It’s what we do with it.
In God’s economy, risk is greater than security. This is easy to forget, because in this day and age, we are all about security. Security from terror threats, from economic hardships, from sickness and disease. We install security systems to prevent robbery. We lock our cars. We use crazy long, hard-to-remember passwords to keep people from hacking our internet accounts. Security, in the proper context, is perfectly acceptable and wise. But because humans tend to be creatures of habit, it can be easy to let this secure mentality slip into all areas of our lives - our faith included.
It is a perfectly human emotion to have fear. Again, as with the talents, it’s what we do with it that counts. Fear can drive us forward and can be the inciting factor that causes us to do our greatest work. But fear can also drive us inward. In that case, it propels us into self-preservation mode, and instead of using our energy to use the talents we have been given, we squander them. We hide them in the ground and rationalize that we are really doing what’s best. Sometimes, we even chalk it up to “wisdom.” Context is key.
In his message on Sunday, Pastor Josh challenged us to consider this parable of the talents from a collective viewpoint. Are we, as a church, going to bury our talents? Or are we going to press forward, in spite of our fears, and invest our talents into our families, our friendships, our communities? Are we willing to sacrifice, to take the risk, to invest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
From a human standpoint, there is little security in this. But as a church, we need to rewrite the programming of our minds and remember that even as dangerous and fearful as investing our talents may feel, there is no safer place in this universe than being in a place of obedience and surrender to the Savior. So, in God’s economy: our risks will actually bring us to a place of security.
Pastor Josh asked us to consider if we know Jesus well enough to love him, surrender to him, and invest back into his kingdom what he has given to us. Can we do this even though we are afraid or uncertain of what, exactly, this could mean for our lives?
A whole can only be as strong as its parts. Collectively we, as a church, want to invest our talents so that they can have a powerful impact on our community. But this will only happen as we, individually, respond accordingly.
Pastor Josh will speak further on this subject in the coming weeks, but for the moment, let’s make sure that we take stock of the talents we’ve been given and ask ourselves these questions. Let’s press forward through the fear, insecurity, or reluctance. Let’s unbury our talents, invest with greater risk, and let loose the grip of our own intentions. Just as risk is greater than security, so God’s desires will infinitely trump our noblest plans.
How have you been gifted? How have you been serving? In what ways have you been afraid or reluctant to serve?
Contributed by Aimee McNew