What’s In Your Hand?

Another blast from the archives with an up to date twist. I needed this reminder.

The truth in love hurts but hopefully it heals, too.

I reread the parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) recently and realized that the Master meant to call the servant lazy. Jesus taught the disciples about a master who had three servants. He gave each of them talents according to what he thought that they could handle. In other words, he handpicked these three servants because they each had something special that would add value to him and help them grow in the process. Two out of the three received a return on their investment. The other servant did not receive a return on his investment because he did nothing. He chose to dig a hole and bury his talent.  Which one are you? What is in your hand and what are you doing with it?

Talents in bible times was currency so imagine taking $100 and burying it. Then add the fact that there was some time before the employer returned from his trip since trains, planes, and automobiles did not exist yet. What did the worker do while waiting for the employer to return? If he was living today, I imagine that he would spend his time on social media talking about his plans that he never does. He may even get busy doing other projects but nothing related to the opportunity that was placed in his hand. Is that you? What is in your hand and what are you doing with it?

After the employer returned, he gathered the workers together to assess their progress. He was proud of the progress of the two who had worked while he was gone. He told them that because of their faithfulness over the little that he would give them more responsibility. No matter how small your project is, do it in a spirit of excellence. Be willing to ask for help if necessary and don’t waste time wondering how much more time do you have to finish. Work while you have time. Are you working? What is in your hand and what are you doing with it?

The worker with the one talent did not receive the same response. He must have immediately realized his mistake because he began to give excuses as to why he was not productive. The employer saw through his excuse and called him lazy. He told him that he could have at least put the talent in the bank so that he could have earned interest. In other words, even if he believed that he was afraid of doing the wrong thing with the talent, he could have at least asked for help. Instead, he chose to do nothing. Have you asked for help? What is in your hand and what are you doing with it?

These three workers were completely different in their approach to the opportunity. The two immediately jumped right in and went to work. They did not appear to second think about the responsibility of the work they had to do. They did not overanalyze their plan to the point of paralysis analysis. They were given a task and they followed through. They looked at their hand and decided that what they had was valuable. What about you? What is in your hand and are you doing with it?

The other worker had a different approach. He second thought his approach. He under-analyzed his approach and decided to do nothing. He did not ask for guidance from the two even after he observed their progress. He did not seek out wise counsel from someone that he could share his thoughts and ideas. He chose to do nothing. He looked at what was in his hand and thought this money will do best in the ground rather than invest it. What about you? What is in your hand and what are you doing with it? 

I have been guilty of being like the worker with one talent being too afraid to mess up that I didn’t take a chance. I did the minimum that was required and nothing more. Ironically, my minimum was celebrated but what would have been the response if I had gone all-in? What about you? 

Do you remember a time where you did the minimum on a project at work, home, church, or even in your personal goals? Are you ignoring or minimizing an opportunity because you are afraid to mess up? It was given to you for a reason. Work with what you have in your hand. Let’s chat


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