Read: Matthew 25:14-30

I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. (v. 25)

Why do we serve God? Is it duty or thankfulness? Is it love? Is it fear? A little of all of them? Our reason for serving is rooted in what we believe to be true about God’s character.

Jesus told a parable involving three slaves. Their master had trusted them with his property while he was away. They were each given different amounts of money, but all were enormous amounts. One “talent” was roughly 15 years’ wages for a day laborer. When the master returned, two of the slaves had doubled what was entrusted to them. However, the third had buried the money in the ground and done nothing with it. Both the first two slaves were commended, but the last one was berated. Why? The first two slaves were trustworthy (v. 21, 23), but the last slave was afraid (v. 25). The first slaves were not praised for savvy investments but for being faithful with what they were given. The last slave was afraid of the master. He didn’t lose any money, but his strategy was based upon fear. That fear kept him from using what he had been given for the sake of his master.

Why do we serve God? If we serve out of fear, we’ll always hold back and be tempted to take God’s gifts and bury them in the ground. However, if our service is rooted in faithfulness, we trust in God’s kindness and use all we have and all we are for his glory.

As you pray, ask Jesus to help you serve out of love, not fear.

About the Author

Stephen Shaffer is the pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario.

This entry is part 12 of 31 in the series Looking to Jesus