Playing it Safe

Playing it Safe

March 27, 2009

In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus tells a story about a man who leaves his servants with money to invest while he is gone. When he returns home he calls the servants and asks how it had gone.

The first reported he had doubled the money. A second man told how the money had grown fifty percent more. Then the third returned the money because he had saved it knowing that he did not want to lose the money and receive the ire of the master.

The master unloads a ton of vehemence on the third servant. If the servant had lost the money in a bad investment, I think the master would not have responded with as much vehemence as he did on this servant. The master had given freedom for the servants to fail, a most wonderful and liberating gift. Investments will always bear some degree of risk. They may succeed or fail no matter what level of research into their potential.

Eugene Peterson calls the third servant a "play-it-safe minimalist" (in his book, Tell It Slant 2009, 152). How often do I fall into that position with what the Lord has given me? Tough words to ponder! What would the Lord say when he returns and asks me how it has gone?

In lots of areas I do not play it safe, so why do so in others? My prayer for me and you is that we take the freedom the Lord has given us and use it with flair and panache and energy so that we risk for his sake rather than sitting idly by, blushing in embarrassment when he asks.