TO CHEW ON: "'For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.'" Luke 19:26
In this favourite story of mine Jesus tells of a hated king who, before he leaves on a journey to establish another kingdom, gathers ten servants and entrusts to each a mina (50 shekels, worth about three months' wages). While he is on his business, the servants are on theirs. What they have done with their mina becomes clear when the king returns.
The first has invested his wisely and has ten minas to show for his work. The master rewards him with responsibility for ten cities.
The second has also worked hard and seen an increase of five minas. He gets responsibility for five cities.
A third servant has only the original mina to return to the king.
The monarch is furious. He scolds the servant for his inaction, takes the amount from him and gives it to the servant who made ten. When those watching object: "But he already has ten minas," the king replies: "'Risk your life and get more than you dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag'" - Luke 19:26 (Message).
Here are some things that I believe this story teaches in the area of stewarding what we have been given of natural abilities and opportunities:
1. Fear can easily get in the way of wise stewardship—fear of making a fool of oneself, fear of hard work, fear of doing it wrong, fear of failure.
2. What we say reveals what's in our thoughts and can become prophetic of our destiny ("'Out of your own mouth I will judge you'" - Luke 19:22).
3. Success and good results don't lead to time off but to more responsibility. I love how writer Mike Duran expressed this idea, in terms of the work of writing, on literary agent Rachelle Gardner's blog:
“How does God reward the person who has been faithful with their talent? He does not relieve them of their duties and send them on an all-expenses paid holiday. Instead, He gives them more responsibilities.
So you’ve signed your first book contract. Amen and hallelujah. Most likely, receiving that contract is validation that you’ve done something right, you’ve been “faithful” with your talent. This is worth celebrating. But this is only one stop in a long journey. Next up – more responsibility, more demands, more deadlines, more pressure, more items to juggle, and more things you will be held accountable for” - Mike Duran (read all of "After the Contract… or Is That Another Mountain?").
This Luke 19 passage was instrumental in launching and keeping me in the business of writing. But I believe it is applicable to whatever one's talent and opportunity.
What is your mina? How are you investing it?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus help me to use the abilities and seize the opportunities you give me to advance Your kingdom. I want You to be proud of me when You return. Amen.
New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.