It seems like as Christians, too often we think we are supposed to avoid risk and play it safe. An unspoken popular mantra I see a lot is “Be a good person, don’t do anything crazy, avoid risk like the plague, and God won’t get hacked off at you.” The result of this belief is a life that sort of slips by every day, avoiding bad things. Not much room for mistakes. Playing it safe. But did God really intend for this to be the way we live our lives? Did we really give us abilities, resources, and influence so that we would sit around and play it safe?
Jesus tells a story about a man who went on a trip and delegated his resources and responsibilities to three different servants. Lets say to one he gave $5k, to one $2k and to the other $1k. Immediately, the one that had the $5k went to work and doubled his master’s money. The second one did the same.
But not the third one. He buried his money. He played it safe. At first glance, one would think this third servant was doing the right thing- avoiding risk, staying out of trouble, protecting what was given to him. However, what Scripture tells us is the opposite.
When the master returned, he checked in with the workers. To the first that doubled his money, the master commended the servant and made him a partner. The second servant, he did the same thing, proud of the fact that the man took a risk and worked hard to make a return on what he had been given.
But not the third one. Not the one that buried what he was given. He played it safe. The servant that buried his money said that he was afraid of disappointing his master and messing up. With his explanation to his master, things didn’t go so well. The master was actually furious, explaining to the servant that this was a terrible way to live. In fear. Burying talents. Playing it safe.
So I’m not sure which of these camps you fit in today or which belief system you hold. Have you buried what you’ve been given? Your time, your abilities, your resources, your life? Are you playing it safe and avoiding risk? If so, think about your life today and consider this: Perhaps it is even more risky to live each day in fear, in doubt, and worry. Perhaps it is time to let go and get to work with what you’ve been given.
Maybe you are like the servants that worked hard, stepped out in faith, and did everything thing they could with what they had been given. If this is you, keep working hard, keep stepping out in faith, and keep staying encouraged. Your trust and work ethic will pay off. God is going to be faithful in your life. Who knows, he may even say, “Good work! You did your job well. From now on, be my partner.”
Whatever you do, don’t play it safe. You have way too much on the line.