Matthew 25:14-30 / Luke 19:12-27
Don’t Bury Your Resources
If your first thought is “Great! I’ll start thinking like an entrepreneur,” your most likely second thought will be “What if I fail?” This is natural, and particularly potent because of how most people respond to making versus losing money. In behavioral economics, there is the concept of “loss aversion,” which explains that we feel roughly twice as bad about losing money as we feel good about making a similar amount of money.
When it comes to innovation, this very-human tendency is problematic because innovation is an “asymmetric activity”. You risk the maximum of the money and time invested into the experiment of creating a new product or service. If the market loves your product or service, great! There is no inherent limit to the return on your investment. If it doesn’t, the most you can lose is the time and money invested (and you still gain valuable knowledge or perspective).
In today’s Scriptures, we are going to read two parables where Christ uses the illustration of a master asking his servants to work with some monetary resources (talents or minas) on his behalf while he is away. Scholars believe that Jesus taught this parable at least twice, given the differences between accounts recorded by both Matthew and Luke. Given that Christ made the point at least twice, I believe it’s a concept that the Lord really wants us to understand.
In both parables, one of the servants hides the resources he was given and returns back to the master exactly what was given to him, while the others work with their resources to grow them. In both parables, the master is furious with the one who buries his resources. The message version translation of Luke’s parable does a great job summarizing the key point. It quotes Christ as saying, “That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag” (Luke 19:26)
In these parables, let’s not focus on whether any one servant succeeds or fails, but on who “takes the risk” and who “plays it safe.” God’s message is to embrace the talents with which He has imbued you and have faith that they are enough to meet the challenges He calls you to take. Instead of burying your talents like the servant who plays it safe, spend some time in prayer asking the Lord what risks he is calling on you to take.
I think this principle goes far beyond achieving financial rewards. In fact, I know many Christians who have taken entrepreneurial risks in their careers and failed, losing money and missing out on other opportunities. Many times, the Lord uses such an experience to teach and enable them to do other great things. This principle is not a guarantee of making money or being successful – it’s about taking risks and wholeheartedly reaching to achieve the dreams that the Lord has put on your heart.
In the next two days, we’ll focus developing those dreams and thinking through appropriate ways to take those risks.
Adapted From: Redefining Work - You Version