A guy takes an extended vacation and expects his servants to multiply his wealth.

There’s a story in the bible about a man who went on vacation and entrusted different amounts of money to his servants. You can read the whole thing in Matthew 25: 14-30 but I’ll try and paraphrase it here. It says he left them each a different amount in proportion to their abilities.

While he was gone the servant who had been given the most invested it or somehow put it to work and DOUBLED his money as did the one who had been given the middle of the three amounts. But the one who got the least amount dug a hole and buried the money.

When the man came back he was pleased with the first two servants, praising their industriousness and promising to put them in charge of bigger and better things. However, when the one who had been entrusted with the least admitted what he did the man was furious. It probably didn’t help that the servant explained he did it because he knew the man to be unethical and he was afraid of him. Turns out he might have had a right to.

The man called him wicked and lazy and chastised him for not at least putting his money in the bank. The man took the paltry amount he had given the servant and gave it to his favorite servants and threw him out of the house!

Now, I’ve read this scripture many times. I’ve heard sermons about it throughout my life. I know the message and what it’s saying to those of us who follow Jesus, believe his teachings and accept him as our Savior. However even with all I understand I can’t help myself. If I’m honest I have to admit; I identify with the third servant. I am the one entrusted with the least and I’m scared.

You see, this is how I think: I don’t have much. I know the man who holds my fate, my very life in his hands to be a hard man. He is a man known to take what is not his. He is a man that, if crossed, will be harsh with me. My overriding emotion is fear. It paralyzes me, it makes me hyper-conservative and it makes me take the path where I am the least likely to mess up. I worry that if I take chances and lose his money, I will be banished or worse. So I hide what is valuable knowing that at least I’ll have it to give back to him when we meet again. I know this is probably the wrong thing to do and I know the other servants are multiplying their gold but I just can’t bring myself to risk it. I just can’t and I’m miserable.

When judgment comes I have to admit, I’m not surprised. I’m left alone, kicked out of the security I’ve tried to cling to and filled with regret and remorse. I’m angry at myself, that I never summoned the courage to use what I’d been given. It’s not a happy outcome. The story is one I would do well, personally, to read each and every day to remind me that despite my fears, despite my perceived limited resources, despite what I may see as unfair circumstances it is my charge, it is my duty and it is expected that I am fruitful with what I’ve been given.

I know we’ve all felt fear of the unknown, limited by our own thinking and regretful afterward that we didn’t take a chance. I think there’s something to learn in this verse about taking responsibility for what we’ve been given. I hope you’ll get out there and join the fray. Part of that might just be sharing this post with someone you think might be helped by it. I hope you do.

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