Saturday, October 13, 2007
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' – Matthew 25:21 NIV
As a little girl, I daydreamed a lot and tended to dawdle. In first grade, my teacher saw some artistic talent in me, and gave me an assignment to paint a poster-sized picture. Every day I spent part of my recess time staying inside and working on it.
I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so the progress became painstakingly slow. One day my teacher came in to see how much I’d accomplished and exclaimed, “This is how much you’ve got done?”
I can still remember how hot my face felt. I can see the disappointment in her eyes. I thought I’d done well, but realized at that moment how slowly I had worked. She wanted to cultivate my talent for drawing, and agreed to let me continue, but begged me to “pick up the pace.”
Fear played a part in my perfectionism. I wanted to do it right so badly, I agonized over every stroke of the paintbrush. That wise teacher helped me to see the bigger picture – both realistically and figuratively.
In Matthew 25, we read a parable Jesus told of a man going on a journey. He entrusted his property to his servants. The man who received five talents gained five. The one with two doubled them to four talents. But the man with one talent dug a hole and hid the master’s money.
When the master returned, he praised the first two servants. But the third man received harsh punishment because he didn’t do as his master wished.
And why didn’t he? Fear. “'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' – Matthew 25:24-25 NIV.
Perhaps fear is keeping you from ministering in some way. Maybe you’re like me, always reaching for perfectionism. There is only One Who is perfect, and God uses plain, ordinary, flawed people like you and me. As our Master, God loves us and uses us by the power of the Holy Spirit to do His work on earth. My desire is to hear Him say at the end of my life’s journey, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
The following is a prayer I penned concerning writing, but whatever your ministry is, I pray it will be blessed abundantly. Step out in faith today. What do you want to do as a ministry for the Lord? What's stopping you?
As I sit down with pen and paper today
I pray, O Lord, for the words to say.
Bless my thoughts. May they be directed by You.
Whatever I write, may it be uplifting and true
To Your Word, to Your Character, to Your Spirit, I pray.
May the words I write challenge the reader to praise
Your Name above all Names - my hands I raise.
Whether it’s a poem, prose, or a worship song
Or a love story like the Song of Solomon,
Help me tell of Your love in glorious ways.
May the story of your grace and mercy cause reflection.
I pray as I write your Spirit gives direction.
No matter the story
I’ll give You the glory
For You alone are the Author of perfection.
© Donna Shepherd 2003