Want to know what holds you back from taking the next big step in your life?
It is the powerful four letter word Fear.
In my life, I have heard at least the acronyms for fear.
I would like to add a third.
Think about that for just a minute. Fear almost always causes us to explore another path, one that is potentially less damaging and dangerous, but also less rewarding. If you are going to push back fear, you will most likely have to face this tendency to explore another route.
The story was first told around two thousand years ago by Jesus that talks about fear. This powerful parable is located in the New Testament, Matthew 25:14-30. A word of caution, as you read through the summary of this famous biblical tale I want you to pay particular attention to how practical it is for today.
“A wealthy man was headed out for a long journey and called three of his servants together. He told them they would be caretakers of his property while he was away. The master had carefully considered the natural abilities of each servant. In the New Testament, a "talent" was a measure of weight; it equaled around 50 kg. The current price for a kilogram of silver is $543.00. He gave one five talents ($135,750.00), two talents ($54,300.00) to another, and one ($27,150.00) to the third, each according to their ability. The master left on his journey.
"After a long time, their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! ’
“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you did not plant and gathering crops you did not cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I did not plant and gathered crops I did not cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. However, from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Here are five truths for you to consider from this powerful parable:
First, this parable teaches us that accomplishment or success is a product of our work.
Second, the Parable of the Talents teaches us that the Lord gives us everything we need to do what he has called us to do.
Just as the master counted upon his servants to do more than passively preserve what had been entrusted to them, so God expects us to generate a return by using the gifts, talents, abilities, and opportunities he has given us.
We should maximize the use of our talents to honor God, to expand the Kingdom, and to help others. There are a deep satisfaction and a real joy that comes from doing the best with what God has given us.
Third, The Parable of the Talents shows that we will be held accountable. This parable is about how we use our work and our business opportunities to fulfill our human callings. It is about whole life stewardship.
The unfaithful servant in this parable did not so much waste the master's money; as he spent and lost his opportunity.
Looking back over your life, have there been times when you have squandered an opportunity? I know I have had my share of wasted opportunities. My hope is that you can learn from my experiences.
Now I do not want to end on a negative. Next week I will show you six vital steps that you can use to find your courage, change your perspective and move forward.
The kicker is that you have to use a pen, pencil or some other writing instrument and write this assignment down on paper, not on a screen. I prefer a Moleskin™.
Here it is:
Make a List You Current Strengths
Nothing builds self-confidence quicker than realizing we have value as a person and the potential to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Assessing strengths, or creating a personal inventory, involves making a list of all current skills and abilities no matter how small or fundamental. Everyone is good at something.
If you are feeling brave, ask your Facebook friends to list a one-word positive trait about you. Feel to use this statement," A friend of mine who is a personal business coach has given me the assignment of making a list of my strengths. Could you help me, I need my FB friends to make a one work comment about a positive trait or strength that you have observed in me." Either way, I promise you that you will be humbled and blessed.
Feel free to leave me some comments on my blog. I will respond.
Have a Wonderful Week.
See you next week with a six-fold plan to help you push forward.
John is a Counselor, Author, Speaker and Photographer that helps people "Get a Grip on Life."