“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
I have found myself being fearful a lot as of late. I fear the testing center with everything inside of me because it only ever brings terrible news, tears, and frustration. I fear meeting new people. I fear finding someone to marry. I fear the future and all the change that it inevitably holds. And sometimes I find myself letting fear control my life.
In Matthew 25, Jesus is telling a couple of parables. And the one that stuck out the most to me was the parable of the talents. I don’t know why (probably because I was young and dumb), but I always thought that God was literally referring to talents that God gives us. And I guess that could be one interpretation of the verses. But no matter what the talent represented, the way in which the three men that God gave talents to had so much more meaning this time around. God gives one man five talents, another two talents, and the last man is given one talent.
The first man, given five talents, invests his talents. This servant went in to talk to his master about the five talents he was given and tells his lord that he has invested the five talents and received five more. He went to talk to his master thinking that he would be giving up his talents unto his lord, but the lord let him keep not only the original amount, but also that which he had gained for himself. The same thing happens to the servant who is given two talents. However, the servant that is given only one talent and buries it, neither gaining nor losing the money. In verse 25, the servant says “I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth.” He is then chastised and rebuked for not taking this talent and gaining from it, and because of his slothfulness, his talent is given to the man who was given five talents.
The servant who was given only one talent acts out of fear. My teacher said of this “If you make your decisions based on fear, you will be wrong most of the time.” Oh, how true that is.
I remember over the summer I went to a sermon about fear, and I wish more than anything that I had my notes with me to be able to tell you some of the amazing and inspiring words from that sermon. Alas, I do not have my notes. But I remember the quote that I put at the beginning of this post. Fear is not real. And yet, we live so much of our lives based on it. Satan wants us to fear. Because when we fear, we are more easily swayed to his ways and to making the wrong decision.
Just like these men, God gives us each things he needs us to do something with. Sometimes he gives us a lot, and sometimes he gives us little. Sometimes he gives us a heap load more than others, and sometimes it seems like we have been given nothing. But God wants us to learn from this parable. Do not act in fear. Act in faith. Someone who acts in fear will shrink backwards, but someone who acts in faith denotes a positive moving forward. Do not fear.
Has God given you a huge calling? Has He given you a small calling in your life? What are you doing with that calling? Are you fearful that you might fail? Don’t be. With God, you can do all things. Or do you think your calling too small to matter? Not so. God gives us callings, big and small, to be able to glorify his name. The smallest of callings can sometimes have the biggest impact. God wants to bless you. He wants to give you callings. He wants to give you trials. He wants to test your faith.
God has tested me many a times and I know that sometimes I have been the man who acts in fear rather than faith. Or I have just neglected the callings that God has given me. I know all sides to this story, I have been the servants in this story. Whoever is reading this, take the calling that God is giving us with this parable. Act in faith, and not in fear. Grow forward, do not shrink backwards. God is not giving us callings and responsibilities just so that all of our work is given to Him and we get nothing, he is letting us have the opportunities for our happiness. Do not fear, for He is with you and He will always bless you with all your efforts.