The parable of the talents in the Bible has always bugged me. The end result seemed unfair……
….a wealthy man leaves on a journey. Before leaving he gives talents (money) to three of his servants. Five talents to one, two to another and one to the last. While he’s gone the first two servants invest and double his money. This greatly pleases the man. The third servant buried the money he was given. He buried it out of fear of the man. As a result his one talent was taken away, given to the other servants, he was called lazy and thrown out of the house. (Matthew 25: 14-28)
Now that seemed a little harsh to me. At least the guy kept the money safe. He didn’t squander or run away with it. He just did…..NOTHING.
I stumbled upon this passage again the other day. Oddly, something else popped out at me. Could it be… it really has nothing to do with money but more about how I live my life?
This week I viewed a courageous blog. An Iraq war veteran posted a pictorial essay of his experience. War being controversial, he opened himself up to criticism. And he got a lot of it.
He also received thanks for his service and appreciation for the amazing photos. The young man’s responses were gracious and kind…even to those who criticized his involvement in war. I was impressed by his candor and humble spirit. But it made me wonder………
How many times have I been prompted to do something for someone, give something away, to say or write particular words…. but chose not to?
And why didn’t I? Because I was afraid… of being ignored, exposed, criticized, rejected, challenged, or loosing what I have. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.
When I get the urge to give a material gift, or share a word of encouragement, or lend a hand to finish a task, but don’t do it… it’s the same as burying that talent in the ground. It’s lost. But if I invest that ability or talent in the world and people around me, it is gain.
I was encouraged and humbled by the war vet who told his story. He took his lumps from those who have a political beef with war. But he gained so much more by stepping out and sharing what he was compelled to share. It’s likely many were blessed and encouraged like I was.
As I review my goals for the new year, at the forefront is the challenge to be bold…to just be the me I am without apology…to invest the talents I’ve been given in the world around me…to take my lumps and know I did what I was asked.
No fear. Just do.