“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25: 28 – 30
There’s a famous story about the US Air Force during the Second World War. Planes were coming back with wings shot full of holes and engineers were tasked with adding more armour. Their first response was to place more armour on the wings where the bullets had gotten through. But statistician Abraham Ward had a different answer. He realised that if a plane could be shot in its wing but still came home, then that wasn’t a big problem. But he noticed that none of the planes that made it home had bullet holes near their engines, meaning the ones that did get shot there must have gone down. So he insisted that the already armoured engines get even more armour. The armour, said Wald, doesn’t go where the bullet holes are. It goes where the bullet holes aren’t.
In this story the master chose to take the one bag away from a servant and give it to the one who had 10. That seems unfair, why give to someone who already has more. But the servant with 10 had already proven himself to be trustworthy, so giving him more in this situation was a good investment.
We only have limited amounts of time, resources, and attention that we can invest in the world. That means there are hard decisions to be made. Sometimes we have to make the tough call to stop supporting something that isn’t delivering results, and instead reinvest in things that are already working and that we know will make the world a better place.
Prayer: God of Wisdom, thank you that you have chosen to invest in me. I pray I can live up to the trust you have placed in me and act as a force for good in the world. Help me to be a wise and careful steward of everything and everyone you have placed in my hands.
Action: Is there anything in your life that isn’t giving you the results you had hoped it would? Perhaps now is the time to take a step back and reinvest your time elsewhere.