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Living a Life of Faithful Risk

Living a Life of Faithful Risk

As a parent of a child with disability, I am learning to appreciate how God values and loves us in ways unrelated to the world’s definition of productivity and success.

My definition of productivity and success is changing through the parable of the 10 minas. I’ve always shied away from this parable in Luke 19 or have read it through a lens of condemnation for not using or investing my gifts well. I have wrestled with the lie that perhaps I have not been faithful enough with what I’ve been given because I haven’t produced an abundant yield.

However, my child has taught me that when I moved overseas to invest my skills and passion in God’s global mission, I chose to step into disability.

I chose to embrace cultural and linguistic limitation; to exchange my confidence in my abilities for dependence on God in response to His Great Commission. I’ve come to understand that I will never be as “productive” or “successful” in a cross-cultural setting. God knows that and yet still invites me into His work of demonstrating His love to the world into His mission to the nations.

I now realize that the point of the parable of the 10 minas is not about the yield. It is not about the fact that the good servant earned 10 more minas or that the wicked servant didn’t earn anything.

This parable is a call to live a life of faithful risk.

The unfaithful servant was unwilling to risk losing his master’s money because he was afraid; he was unwilling to even take the smallest risk of putting the mina in a bank to gain interest. He was afraid of failing or, more pointedly, afraid that his master would be harsh with him if he failed, so, instead, he buried what was given to him to avoid the risk of losing what he had been given.

The faithful Christian life is risky.

It is characterized by taking steps into the unknown in faith believing.

It is saying, God, I’ll take what you’ve given me and risk it all for your sake.

It is not, necessarily, about making the best, or most productive, investment.

It is not about yield or return or success.

It is about trusting that God cares for us and wants us to use what we’ve been given for His glory, whatever the outcome may be.

It is not a parable of condemnation, it is a story of exhortation; to understand that the God who gives is not harsh, is not afraid of our failure; he wants us to risk (and possibly even fail) in faith believing in His goodness, love, and imminent return.

My child has shown me the value of a faith that does not depend on my ability and that is not measured by the world’s definition of productivity or success.

I am learning that God’s call to dependence and a life of faithful risk is rooted in His great love and the privilege of participating in His mission to demonstrate that love to the world.


About the Author: Bill is the IDEAS Education Sector Advocate. His experience includes roles in educational leadership and teaching in higher education, secondary education, and theological education. Enjoy other blogs by Bill, such as I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.