Boldly Go… or Hold Back in Fear?

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.

3 thoughts on “Boldly Go… or Hold Back in Fear?

  1. I’ve always believed God wants us to use the abilities and gifts he has given us, and not be ungrateful recipients. It insults his generosity to act as if a talent isn’t important enough to use.

    Your last line speaks to me and my blog post today, too. Thanks for this. 🙂

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  2. I know I’m a little behind in reading this post….but I’ll comment anyway 😉 —
    The part that stuck out to me were these few paragraphs:

    “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.”

    — I think many, if not most of us are very much like this. Always worried about what others may think.

    Your words reminded me about a discussion we were having in sunday school last week. We were talking about kindness to others & “loving thy neighbor as thyself” (which was the name of the lesson). We spoke about how unfriendly the world is now….and how many people don’t even know their neighbors, let alone love them.

    Then came our resolutions to how we could help restore what once was a friendly society/community. A few women spoke up & had some good points.

    The first was quite simple…SMILE. Yes, a smile can go a long way. Whether it’s a passing driver, a runner on the side of the road, your family….just smile.

    The second was a challenge, but a good one. She always taught her children, “Never let a kind thought go unspoken.” So if you appreciate something someone did, or if you think the lady in the checkout line behind you has pretty hair or cute kids….whatever it may be…If it’s nice, say it! You’re not hurting anyone. And, you may actually be helping them. It could be the day where they really needed to hear something positive.

    And the third, was so obvious, but so often forgotten. “The best way to love your neighbor is on your knees.” — Pray! If we already love our neighbors, then that’s awesome — Give thanks for that. If we need some help or strength in doing so, then ask. It was so perfect. One of those “duh” moments. He doesn’t want us to be alone. He is here to help us if we’ll ask & accept it.

    — So, you are not alone with these feelings. I struggle with it all the time! But, hopefully I can act on it now that the light bulb has gone off 😉

    Thanks again for your blog posts. Love ya 🙂

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    • Love your sweet and thoughtful comment. And don’t worry about being “behind”. You can read and comment any old time 🙂 And thanks for sharing all that good stuff – – sounded like a wonderful discussion you had in Sunday School. Lots of wisdom there!!

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