Why Are We So Fearful?

"And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine" (Matthew 25:25).
In the Parable of the Three Servants in Matthew 25:14-30 we read that the servants who received five and two talents, respectively, improved them so that when the Master returned they had double what they were given. But the third servant who had received one talent did nothing with it and was chastised.

Notice his reasoning in verse 25: "I was afraid..." Now this fear is a very real emotion for many. We are called to serve God in some capacity and we're afraid we'll underperform. We compare ourselves to other "star players" in the church. We compare ourselves to somebody who did the job before us and whose performance was greatly celebrated. Some of us don't even try (like this servant) because we're afraid.

But pay attention to the first part of the text. It says in verse 15 that the Master (who is God) gave to each man "according to his ability." He did not give five talents to the one who could only handle two. He did not give two to the man who could only handle one. But the fact that he gave one to the man he gave one was an indication that he had properly assessed the ability of that man and had decided that he could indeed handle one.

Now it makes sense why the Master was so angry. The man who had received one talent believed the lie he had told himself about his inability more than what God told him about his ability with the endowment of the one talent. God had declared that he COULD handle one talent. So his fear was IRRATIONAL. His fear may have been real as an emotion, but it was irrational because God had already decided that the one talent recipient had what it took to manage that one. The endowment was God's vote of confidence.

The old writers of Christian literature often said that all of God's biddings are enablings. God won't ask you to do something and not give you what you need to succeed. Calling and capability go hand in hand in God's economy. If God has called you to a task, He's given you what you need to succeed at that task.

I am not able to reassure you of success in those positions you politicked yourself into. God didn't give you the green light on those. You're on your own. And you do well to be afraid to go anywhere or do anything without Jesus. But if the Lord sends you, you shall succeed. Our definition of success, of course, is not necessarily synonymous with the world's definition. But if God sends you on a mission. He sends you with a purpose. If you accomplish the purpose for which He sends you, you have succeeded.


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