God's Man | Got's Got It pt.2
Worry is often borne out of fears that we have. Whether it is fear of success, failure, or accountability we worry about the consequences of our actions. I remember telling a superior that it was the fault of a co-worker that I was unable to meet a deadline. I was worried that I would be reprimanded so I quickly deflected blame elsewhere. I made no mention of the fact that I had procrastinated in asking for help from this co-worker.
In the parable of the Tenants, which is in Mt 21:33-46, we see an example of this.
"Here's another story. Listen closely. There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it, dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants back to collect his profits.
"The farmhands grabbed the first servant and beat him up. The next one they murdered. They threw stones at the third but he got away. The owner tried again, sending more servants. They got the same treatment. The owner was at the end of his rope. He decided to send his son. 'Surely,' he thought, 'they will respect my son.'
"But when the farmhands saw the son arrive, they rubbed their hands in greed. 'This is the heir! Let's kill him and have it all for ourselves.' They grabbed him, threw him out, and killed him.
"Now, when the owner of the vineyard arrives home from his trip, what do you think he will do to the farmhands?"
"He'll kill them—a rotten bunch, and good riddance," they answered. "Then he'll assign the vineyard to farmhands who will hand over the profits when it's time." - Mt 21:33-46
We tend to think about this story about in terms of greed. The tenants wanted to keep all of the fruit for themselves. When I was looking at this parable I saw tenants who were worried about how much harvest they had. So they decided to keep it all for themselves instead of giving the owner his share. We need to make sure that we are putting the time into the work that God has given us so we can have the harvest ready when He comes.
I remember when I was in the recruiting and training business one month I had great success, bringing in more people than I had ever previously. The only problem was that I had not built an infrastructure to handle it. I couldn’t sustain a group that size yet. In the parable of the Ten Virgins we see the same thing. The 5 foolish virgins were so excited about the bridegrooms coming that they didn’t prepare.
"God's kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn't show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.
“In the middle of the night someone yelled out, 'He's here! The bridegroom's here! Go out and greet him!'
"The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, 'Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.'
"They answered, 'There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.'
“They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.
"Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, 'Master, we're here. Let us in.'
"He answered, 'Do I know you? I don't think I know you.'
"So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive. " - Mt 25:1-13
Worry often leads to the incredibly rash decision of inaction. Take a look at this parable.
"It's also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master's money.
"After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
"The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master's investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
"The servant given one thousand said, 'Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.'
"The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
"'Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this "play-it-safe" who won't go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.' - Mt 25:14-30
The wicked servant was so worried about losing his master’s money that he made no attempt to invest it. Fear and worry prevent us from trying something. This is what he should have done.