Among Jesus’ last discourses before his arrest and crucifixion was the story about a wealthy man who entrusted part of his wealth to one of his servants with the understanding that the servant would invest it wisely while the master was gone on business. But the servant made the mistake of looking around him and comparing himself with other servants who had been given more than he was given. When his master returned and asked for an accounting, the servant replied, “I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.” These were the words the “one talent” servant used in an attempt to justify his inaction to his master. Each of us can identify with his motivation. Fear has frozen many of us in our steps. “What if we make a bad decision? What if we lose what little we have? What if we fail?” It isn’t difficult to understand why he hid his small satchel of money. But in spite of it all, his master still replied “You wicked and lazy servant?” We are tempted to think the master overreacted. We find it easier to sympathize with the servant. But Jesus plainly teaches us that the servant was disobedient, that he evaded his basic responsibility, that he failed to take any risks whatever.
We have been called by God to take risks. This is not a wild and irresponsible thing to do. It is not an immature reaction or a momentary emotional response. It is a normal part of our walk as Christians. They are “risks” only as we look at them through eyes conditioned to see conventional wisdom and power. But our Master is not limited to conventional wisdom and power. He is unlimited in power, and “faith” is our recognition of this fact as applied to every area of our lives. We are asked to take risks with our families by daring to lead them in ways that others would not. We are asked to take risks on the job by demonstrating attitudes that no one else exhibits. In fact, we are asked to take risks in every area of life by making decisions and choices or exhibiting conduct out of touch with our culture but perfectly consistent with our calling as children of God. Don’t lose your nerve. God loves it when we step into risky territory. It’s why we’re here.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship