The Fine Art of Failure: Week 5 - Day 2

Opening Prayer

Jesus, open our minds and hearts to hear your word today.  Allow us to know your presence and hear your voice and give us the courage to follow you.

 

Read

Matthew 25: 28-29,  “‘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.

 

Reflect

In the parable of the talents the master leaves for a period of time, and while he’s away, he entrusts his wealth to three of his servants in varying amounts.  He gives one 5 talents, one 2 talents and the final servant 1 talent.  It all seems pretty tame until you realize that a talent was worth about 20 years wages.  That’s some serious bank!

So, the master comes back and the first two have doubled his money but the third hands him back the one talent he had been given.  He didn’t do anything with it and as you can see by today’s scripture, the master was less than pleased.

This is a parable to help us understand how to prepare for Christ’s second coming.  We see two servants who pleased the master upon his return and one who didn’t.  What was the third servant’s problem?  Was he lazy?  Did he not care about the master?  Was he just a wicked man? 

In Matthew 25:24 we see that this servant had a faulty view of the heart of his master.  “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.”  He believed the master to be harsh and unjust, maybe even unethical, so he lived in fear of the master. 

 

Apply

For various reasons when I was a young Christian I got the impression that God was a taskmaster.  I tried really hard to do everything to please him but always believed in my heart that I was disappointing God and that my failings were frustrating to him and a sign that I didn’t really love him.  I lived in fear of being a disappointment to God and it made a significant impact on my ability to respond to him.

What is your belief about Jesus and his character?  Do you see him as a harsh taskmaster, waiting for you to earn his love?  Do you see him as a loving Savior who laid down his life to have a relationship with you?  

When I believed I was disappointing God, it caused me to hold back and not step out in faith, kind of like the third servant who buried his talent.  When I came to understand more of how much God simply loves me for who I am it freed me to serve him without fear of failing out of my own weakness.  God can handle my failure and he can handle yours too.

 

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we want to know you, but we are weak and are helpless to know you unless you reveal yourself to us.  Help us to see you as you are, a loving, gracious Savior who knows us in our weakness and loves and accepts us anyway.

 

Terry Schneider