Matthew 25:14-27 (The Message)
14-18“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
19-21“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
22-23“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
24-25“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
26-27“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! 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 with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
How many times have we heard this verse? In church on Sunday mornings, in Sunday school growing up, or from our parents. It is used for different things, a lesson in investing wisely or a lesson in using the gifts that God has given us, both of which I think apply and are good lessons. But I was reading this verse the other day and something stood out to me that I hadn’t noticed before that hit me hard because it is exactly how I had been living my whole life. Let’s take a closer look:
The third servant was given a 1,000 dollars, or 1 talent, depending on your version of the Bible, to do whatever he pleased with it and he decides that he’s going to bury it. Why? Here is his response: “I was afraid I might disappoint you..” Ugh. That hits hard. That has been my driving force for so long, fear of disappointment. Fear of disappointing others, fear of disappointing God…disappointment. How many times have we done that? We hide something, hide ourselves, or just hide in general because we don’t want to disappoint God.
God has given us all gifts, talents, abilities. Whether it is preaching sermons as a pastor or writing web code for amazing web sites, He has gifted us with something or things that we will either use and flourish in or we hide and take on this mantra of false humility that we’re not really good at anything. The truth is, we all probably know exactly what the gift or ability that God has given us and we either try to hide from it because it scares us or we refuse to admit that God has gifted us with anything.
We have two options with this reality, we can either continue to hide our gifts, our talents because we are afraid that we are going to screw up and disappoint God or we can partner with God and allow Him to work through us to do amazing things to advance His kingdom with the talent and gifts He has already placed inside of us. Read what the master says to the two servants who invested and doubled their money “From now on be my partner.” He wants to PARTNER with us.
Let me share with you what God shared with me about this: God spoke to me clearly when I read this “Brandon, you’re the third servant. Stop hiding what I have given you and take a risk and partner with me so I can multiply what I have given to you.” I don’t want to be the third servant, I refuse to hide what God has invested in me out of fear of disappointment. God wants me to partner with Him and take a risk, I may fall flat on my face sometimes, but God will not leave me there and He will continue to work out this gift in me.
I love to write, I am not great, but it has always been something that I love and have always wanted to become better at. So here I am telling you that I am going to start taking risks, put myself out there, and partner with God to develop this gift in me so that I will stop saying that I am hiding this gift because I am afraid of disappointing Him. He will not be disappointed in something He gave to me.
What gift are you hiding out of fear of disappointment? What gift are you using right now?