“He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow; I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who had will more be given, and he will have abundance. But from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’” – Matthew 25:14-30

How were the three servants of the master different? The first two took risks and stepped out in faith to help their master by investing their talents. The third protected his talent and chose to hoard it.

Many Christians think that salvation binds us to a host of rigid rules, but Jesus tells us:

“If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

Salvation doesn’t bind us. Instead, it sets us free. “Free as a bird,” we say, and we all know that birds are not afraid of heights. Freedom entails risk. Risk of failure. Risk of rejection. Jesus’ early disciples freely risked everything to share their faith. A faith that is held close and hoarded is like a seed that is never planted: There is a promise of a harvest, but no action leading to fruitfulness.

Why wouldn’t we take a leap of faith and plant that seed? Why do we sit dumb and mute? We are frozen by fear. Fear keeps us in bondage and so we remain slaves, prisoners of our fear and lack of faith. We do not live up to the potential that God intended for us.

What do we fear about following God? Is it the Heat of the Burning Bush under our feet? Are we afraid of what God might require of us?

We fear to exercise our power as Christians, for fear of being hurt by the world’s rejection. Fear of disapproval and fear of being outcast.

We are called upon to step out of the darkness of our closeted faith and shine as a beacon of light to the world, liberating others from despair and darkness.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

We are called upon to take risks, step away from the safety net, and soar like a bird.