4 - Does thinking about consequences change how we behave?
I touched on this in question 3 i think.
The more I read the parable the less I seem to understand it or the more I feel there is something missing.
The servant was scared it said and this was the reason he hid the money. So he at least could give back what he had been given. If he had gone out and tried to make more money but lost it all would that have been ok? If so I really don't think tbe servant knew that and was scared that would happen.
I don't feel I use my gifts at all sometimes and maybe sometimes that is laziness or focus on other things but sometimes it is a lack of self confidence. On Sunday I even doubted I was putting the right amount of coffee in the cups and on numerous occasions started again.
I think if it had said the 3rd servant couldn't be bothered, buried the money and went off to chill, I would be right in there choking him out. But it said he was scared.
I think I am totally missing the point here.
Ok just reread that and i am not choking anyone!!!
That's a relief!
One of the fascinating (ok confusing) things about parables is they are never intended to tell the whole story just to illustrate a particular point (or points).
One thing we see in this one is that the servant was scared of his master - who he was, how he behaved - and so this led to inaction. And he was criticised for it and thrown out for being worthless. Not a good result! The way he treated his servant was consistent with his servant's assessment of him.
We, however, serve a different master - one who loves us, cares for us, wants the best for us, wants us to be the best we can for others. One who doesn't give us more to do than we can cope with but gives us the ability to do what he calls us to do. And as we recognise the truth of that, we can be set free to work for him with what he has given us confident that, whatever happens, we will be loved by Jesus.
But that doesn't remove the responsibility to work for him - motivated by love and not fear.