“To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.” Mt 25:15
The Master gives the talents to the servants and then he leaves. He doesn’t tell them what to do with the talents. He doesn’t give instructions how to invest them. He doesn’t leave behind a know-how, a strategic plan, a detailed description, an instruction manual of how they should invest what they had been entrusted with. But at a point he comes back and holds them accountable. And he expects a return. This Master is profit-oriented. It’s his talents, so he rightfully expects profit on his investment.
The servants have huge freedom. They can make a ton of decisions about how they will invest what they have received. They had to be active, they had to be intentional, they had to take risks. Just like any investors.
Freedom requires intentional work. We all are responsible to invest what we got, because profit is expected on our life.
It’s stunning the amount of freedom we got. It’s stunning how serious the accountability will be.
Sometimes I wish I would have received a more detailed instruction from Jesus on how to invest what I got. But all he wants is intentional, fearless, diligent, full of faith risk-taking. That’s what the two faithful servants did. That’s what we need to do, too:
- Know what we got – 5 or 2 or 1 talents. Know what God gave us: gifts, strengths, weaknesses, experiences, relationships, networks, resources, opportunities. Have an inventory of what you got and what you need to invest. Be intentional to know your story, your strengths, gifts, experiences, relationships, opportunities, etc..
- Risk them for advancing His Kingdom: intentionally, bravely, with full of faith, maximizing opportunities.
Yes, it’s risky. Yes, it’s inconvenient. Yes, it’s fearful. Yes, it’s tiring. Yes, it would be much easier just to follow a check-list, a to-do list, a God-given personalized manual. It would be easier if we wouldn’t have to think, to struggle on our knees praying, seeking, hurting; to study His word, to understand our story, to search our opportunities, etc.. The responsibility of freedom is extremely tiring and scary.
The first two servant did well. They used the freedom given to them wisely and diligently.
The third one failed. He was not a bad guy at all. He didn’t waisted the talent. He was not out in the bars drinking and partying. He was not loosing the talent. He just didn’t invested it. He preserved it.
Why? He was fearful. Fear that came with the freedom paralyzed him to take risks. “What if I make a bad investment? What if I make a bad decision? What if I loose everything? Let’s preserve it, keep everything going the same way as it always had been. If we don’t change anything, then we are okay, we are safe. Don’t move, don’t change, don’t take risks, so when the Master comes, we can return everything to him.” Seems good, safe and fair. But it’s called evil, lazy and judged harshly. Status quo is not acceptable.
Fear is not an acceptable excuse not to take risks, not to change, not to walk by faith, not to be intentional about our life. Freedom comes with fear. If you were never afraid, you’ve never had been putting yourself into situations where the return or the loss can be huge.
You can’t play safe if you want to be faithful in following Him!
We got freedom because we got everything we need to use that freedom well. If that would not be true, God would not have given us freedom and would not hold us accountable.