His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23 NIV)
Friend to Friend
I used to cringe at the thought of telling parts of my story. People in my small town thought that my family was a typical American family with two kids and a collie dog named Lassie. We certainly dressed the part…my mamma made sure of that. I remember sitting in high school homeroom laughing on the outside but crying on the inside. If they only knew, my shame whispered.
You can imagine my resistance when God prodded me to speak up and tell how He transformed my secret alcohol-induced violent childhood into a public grace-infused peaceful adulthood. Would you rather they think well of you, or well of Me, He seemed to ask. But when I finally planted the seeds of my story, God brought in a harvest of souls that boggled my mind.
Every redemptive story, like a raw seed, cannot realize its potential until it is planted in the heart of another human being. And a plant born of a seed will become a plant that bears more seeds.
One day, Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. We’ve come to know it as the Parable of the Talents, but it is really more the Parable of the Three Choices. Jesus used the parable to explain what the kingdom of heaven would be like.
For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Matthew 25:14–18 ESV)
When the master returned home, he was pleased with the two servants who had invested and doubled their talents. The master praised them by saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23 NIV). But he was furious with the one who buried his one talent in the ground because of fear.
So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. (Matthew 25:26–28 ESV)
A talent was a measure of weight. Some translations say, “bags of gold.” But Jesus was teaching us about far more than investing money. He was demonstrating what God expects us to do with what He has entrusted to us in every area of life. We can plant what he gives us and watch it grow, or we can bury it the furrows of fear and walk away.
You may feel that you wasted part of your life because of failure, but the greater waste would be not telling what you learned from that failure. How God picked you up after you fell down. How God turned you around when you were headed in the wrong direction. How God drew you in when you had pushed him away.
I wonder if you have any bags of gold that are buried in the ground because of fear? Fear of rejection, embarrassment, or what others might think of you? Fear has no choice but to leave the premises when you stand on the promises of God and say, “You are not welcome here.”
If you say yes to God and share your story of redemption, be prepared to hear these words from the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 ESV). And remember, the opportunity to tell your story could happen anywhere, and you never know when your smallest investment will multiply in another’s heart.
Lord, make me brave. I don’t want to be stingy with my story of how You have brought me to the other side of trouble. How You picked me up when I was down, cleaned me up and turned me around. Help me to not focus on the facts of the bad story, but the redemptive truths of how you brought me through.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever written down your story? Want to give it a try? I’d love to hear it. You can send it to email@example.com. And if this devotion spoke to you, please leave a comment and say, my story is my treasure.
More From the Girlfriends
Everyone likes a good story, but not everyone likes their own story. My new book, When You Don’t Like Your Story, challenges us to ask: What if God doesn’t want us to rip out our difficult chapters but repurpose them for good?
In fact, the worst parts of your story might just be what God uses the most. 2021 might just be the year to turn your story around and write a different ending. Click here to join Sharon’s FREE online When You Don’t Like Your Story Bible Study running February 15 – March 8.
© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.