“Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.” -Jesus (The Message)
There is a story that Jesus tells about a business man who has to go away for a bit and he leaves his three servants with some money. He gives the first servant five thousand dollars, the second two thousand, and the third one thousand. Leaving them with the money, he goes away not telling them when he’ll come back.
The first servant takes his five thousand dollars, makes some good investments and returns his money double what he had to begin with: ten thousand dollars.
The second servant takes his two thousand dollars, invests it and yields a two thousand dollar return, making his total four thousand.
The third servant wets his pants and sleeps it off, burying the money in a hole in the ground because he is fearful and lazy.
Without notice, the master returns to find his first two servants using the gift he gave them and the third servant squandering it in cowardly passivity. When he returns, this is the conversation:
“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.’
“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.
“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’
Today there are three lessons I want to glean from this passage and three actions I believe that you can take to not be like the third servant. Let’s discover them together.
- Talents were given for investment. Too many people think that their gift is for themselves. When you have a talent, a skill, or a gift, the first thing you must realize is that there is some purpose for it. God didn’t make a mistake in creating you. He wants you to “fan into flame the gift that is in you.” In short, the spark of creativity that exists in all of us can be fanned into a flame that sets the world on fire around you.
- Talents can be multiplied. Just because you have one gift doesn’t mean that’s all you can do. In fact, you should do more. But being faithful with the one thing that you have to offer this world is the first step. Faith isn’t always a giant leap, usually it is a simple step of obedience.
- Talents can be taken away. Just because you have a dream, a vision, an idea, a thought, a talent, a skill, or a gift, doesn’t mean that it can’t be taken from you. This is not a fear based motive. It is simply a matter of practicality. If God gives you something and you don’t use it, why should he let you keep it? There is no business manager or leader that I know of that would continue to give responsibility to anyone who squanders the investments given to them.
So here’s your action plan for this week.
- Discover your gift. The secret to discovery begins by opening your eyes. Answer this question: If money were no object and you could do whatever you wanted, what do you love to do? Your gift lies within the answer to this question.
- Find a way to bless three people with your gift this week. Is your gift writing? Making money? Encouraging people? Making music? Creating video? Handling other people’s money? Reading? Coaching? Playing sports? Whatever it is, find three people to bless with your gift this week.
- Journal your experience. If you are disciplined enough to write down your experiences, do that. If its better for you to keep an audio journal, record your own voice and file away the weekly journal entry on your cloud or on your computer. Go out today and buy a journal. I usually can find a nice one at Marshall’s or TJMaxx for $5.00 or less.
Whatever you do this week, remember to create something better. That’s how you begin the process of getting un-stuck.