Willingness to Lose
“So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground.” — Matthew 25:25
As a baseball coach for twenty years, I often had to maximize the skills of my players and play “small ball” since my teams were not always blessed with great power. Consequently, the sacrificial bunt was an important part of our offensive arsenal.
Amazingly, the sacrificial bunt, which should be one of baseball’s easiest skills to master, was for some players the most difficult. Most of the players could square around, get the bat out over the plate, and with a relatively loose grip, let the ball hit the bat. But some failed because the player was not willing to “sacrifice” himself and give himself up to move his teammate forward.
Jesus described this attitude in His parable of the talents. Rather than take a necessary risk and use his talent to create more for his master, one slave took the cautious route and hid his talent in the ground. He was unwilling to lose because he was afraid to fail.
All sports call for risk: the blitz in football, the full court pressure defense in basketball, and rushing the net in tennis. Although there are times these strategies will fail and the opponent may get an easy point, good teams and good athletes are willing to take risks to be at their best.
The Christian life is no different. We are called to lives of faith. Faith is described by the writer of Hebrews as the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We are called to trust God in ways we cannot humanly prove or always fully understand, but rather because His Word calls us to such action. May we be willing to take risks as Christian coaches for the One who took the ultimate risk for us and gave His life.
1. By your words and your actions, do you encourage “risk taking”?
2. In your walk with Christ, how have you been willing to take risks for Him?
3. What are some things that prevent you from taking risks?
Extra Reading: Numbers 13:26–45; Matthew 25:14–30; Luke 9:43–48
Lord, may my trust in You be complete, and may my words and actions show that trust. Amen.