“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest.
Matthew 25: 24 – 27
Have you ever been afraid of trying something new? I think we probably all have. Whether we’re young or old, trying a new thing or seeing whether we can explore and learn new skills is challenging. No one much likes change, and some of us absolutely hate it! The servant here in this parable was scared to try anything new, so scared that he took the bag of gold and he buried it in the ground. When his master came, the servant offered him the bag of gold, unchanged, unused.
The bag of gold stands for the talents and resources that God has given us. Very often, it’s fear of failure that stops us thinking of and trying new things to do with those resources and talents. But God gave them to us for use and service, not just for our own enjoyment, and failure is better by far than never trying. We may not be able to see how to change, but God will show us if we pray, and God will give us the courage and strength to grow into the people that we can be. It’s never too late.
Prayer: Father God, my life is often ruled by fear and by reluctance to change. I can’t see, or I can’t let myself see, how I should change. Lord, all I have is yours and everything came from you. Please show me how to use the gifts, talents and resources you’ve trusted me with. Help me not to be constrained by my fears, my comfort and my laziness, but give me courage and imagination to see how I can serve and how I can grow into the person you want me to be. Amen
Action: make a list of the resources and gifts you have. Pray over one gift or resource each day, and ask God to show you whether you should be doing something more with it.