“Fail to use what you’ve been given and you’ll lose it. Use the ability you’ve got and God will increase it.” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life*
When I read this quote from Rick Warren on the parable of the talents Jesus talks about in Matthew 25, I stopped to consider how I am investing or failing to use what I have been given. Am I walking in fear or faith?
I wrote on this parable of the three servants in doing it all For the Glory of God. But today I want to focus on what holds us back from investing our talents. I believe Fear and Scarcity are the hindrances the enemy uses to prevent me from giving my all for the glory of God.
Fear has been defined as False Evidence Appearing Real. Some of the common fears I face are:
- Fear of the unknown.
We fight fear with faith. As Martin Luther King, Jr. wisely said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” I would also add sometimes faith is continuing to take that next step and the next when fear tells you to turn around and flee.
- Fear of failure.
Failure is not final. “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again …” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV). Even if you fail, God will strengthen you to rise again.
- Fear I’m not enough.
This is my biggest fear, and it’s also true. On my own I’m not enough. In my own strength I will stumble, but I was never called to take the next step in my own strength. My insecurity reminds me “… when I am weak, then I am strong—the less I have, the more I depend on Him.” (2 Corinthians 12:10 TLB).
Fear put the focus on me. Faith puts the focus on God.
Scarcity says there’s a limited supply. We think we need to hold out so we don’t run out, but God’s abundance doesn’t run out. Whether it is finances, talents, creativity, time, God can take what doesn’t seem like enough and make it more than enough.
Listen to the words of the master to the servant who buried his investment: “It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?” (Matthew 25:26-27 MSG).
Though the master’s words are harsh, the words ring true. Fear and scarcity will cause me to give the least when faith and abundance will cause me to give my best. And God deserves only my best.
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