I Am the Wicked and Lazy Servant

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I don’t really want to admit what I’ll be admitting to you today. Not only is it painful, but I’m honestly still wrestling with it every day.

A Year of Building

About a month ago, as I was driving to a meeting, I was contemplating my (our) future. I believe 2016 is a year to build things – write book(s), create and deliver courses, etc. – that need to be in place for next year. I don’t know exactly what that means for 2017, but I know what it means now.

What I also know is that everything I’m being led to build are things I tried five years ago. Literally. Every. Thing.

Do I Dare to Try Again?

I lost my corporate job at the start of 2011. I knew at the time that I was being called to be an author, speaker and life/business coach. And that’s what I did.

And it didn’t go very…um, well.

We didn’t starve or lose our house, but only because of the help of our church, many friends, and favor with two mortgage companies (READ: God provided despite the lack of traditionally approved and expected life items like work, insurance, income, etc.).

I also can’t say it was a total failure. Every moment of the past five years has been a journey with the Lord. He has directed, redirected, re-redirected and led us through what I now know was a wilderness journey just like the Israelites experienced. A journey to learn absolute obedience and dependence.

I know we have grown immensely and that the failures and little successes have ultimately created the living we are making today.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been very, very hard. I have experienced pain, frustration, loss and failure and so has Jill (which is doubly hard on me as her husband).

I have to admit I am more than scared and doubtful to try the same path again.

The Parable of the Talents

I say, ‘I have to admit’ because of what happened on the drive to that meeting.

As I contemplated the year as well as my fears and doubts I was reminded of the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. And I quickly realized, I was the guy hiding the talents in the ground: God has given me tasks to do with the talents he’s given me and I’m hiding them out of fear.

I further realized my reasons were identical to that guy’s as well:

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…” – Matthew 25:24-25

I had to admit I saw God as a hard man. Whoa!

God had asked me to do many things that failed. He also blessed other things in both my life and in many other’s lives that make absolutely no sense at all. This is how God works and He always has. Consider this passage from Deuteronomy where God is talking about what He’s about to give His people:

“…great and splendid cities which you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant…” – Deut: 6:10-11

But it got worse.

The Sin of Hiding

When I got home and read the parable word for word, here’s what jumped out:

‘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…” – Matt. 25:26-27

YIKES! But I have to admit, it’s true.

I have to admit that my fear and doubt – which I rationalize as thinking, planning, wisdom, caution and more – is nothing more than believing lies about my God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of Gideon, David and Paul.

The God of talents that wants them used for the purposes He has ordained.

We are called to three key aspects of relationship with God: obedience, dependence and appropriation. Using our gifts and talents is about all three, but mostly about appropriation.

I’ll write more about this in my upcoming book, Joshua Had to Fight, which I will complete this year.

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