“After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” – Matthew 25:19-21.
In Matthew 25, Jesus gives us the parable of the three servants. The parable is about a master who left bags of gold in the care of three servants. To the first man, he gave five bags. To another, he gave two bags. And to the third man, he gave one bag of gold. The first two men invested the gold the master gave them, but the man with one bag dug a hole in the ground and buried it. The man with one bag was afraid and didn’t want to take a risk, so he played it safe. “I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth.…” (Matthew 25:25)
The master called him a “wicked and lazy servant,” and took the bag of gold away. That seems a little harsh on the surface. He made a decision, similar to modern people hiding money under their mattresses or in other places. He was unwilling to take a risk because he was afraid. The question is are we all that different?
God has given each of us a gift that is more precious than gold. But sometimes we want to hide it away for safekeeping. Not because we don’t want to share it, but because we’re afraid. Maybe we are afraid of what people might say, or what could happen. Oy maybe we are afraid to step out of our comfort zone. So we play it safe.
But God didn’t call us to play it safe. He called us to be courageous. The life of a Christian is an adventure. The journey with God is full of surprises. It is based on the fact that you never know what is around the next bend. Nor do you know that in the next minute you will have the opportunity to change your life or someone else’s life for all eternity. The most important decisions of our lives will require us to stop being invisible and risk becoming visible. A little dramatic? Maybe. But, we must never underestimate the importance of one moment, one word, one deed in the life of another human being. And these moments seldom come at a convenient time and they never come if we tend to stand on the sidelines.
Taking risks is simply stepping up and God stepping in. How often do we start the day with this question: What can I do today to make a difference in the world? What opportunities is God giving me today? Those opportunities can be anything from listening to praying, to giving somebody a ride to work, to buying some groceries.
- How would you rate your aversion to risk?
- How does your personality impact your ability to take risks?
- What can you do this week to seize the opportunities God gives us?