Ever wondered what stopped the individual in Matthew 25 who got given 1 talent from doing anything with it? Don’t know about you but I do not want to be called ‘wicked, lazy, worthless’. Should it concern us that many of us head that way, sometimes without even realising it.

If 3 people are given talents and one of them just buries it then does that mean that 1 out of 3 people are doing NOTHING with what God has deposited within them. Am I just busy doing the wrong things? What reasons do I give that limit by ability to take a hold of every opportunity that comes my way?

Hear what the person says…
I knew you were are hard man
I knew you reaped where you did not sow
I was afraid
I thought to myself
I decided to bury it

‘I’ has a lot to answer for. It begins many sentences with excuses at the other end. As it did for the man stood with one talent, so we often do the same. I decided not to because of…

– the concern with how it will make me look

Culture influences image. TV is full of programmes telling us to look right.The cosmetics industry is worth over £37bn in UK – thats BIG business. It’s little wonder that we get concerned about how doing certain things will make us look.

Maybe for the person with one talent they became concerned with how doing things would make them look, after all, reputations are precious. They are hard to earn but can be easily lost.

There is a danger though for me as a Christian. If I base decisions on image then I put limits on what I can do. If my concern is directed more towards what others might think about me, then perhaps my focus is wrong. Surely my focus should be more on how God sees me. Isn’t acting in faith the better way to go?

Image = me centred
Faith = God-centred
Image = I look okay
Faith = God looks good
Image = concerned with own reputation
Faith = concerned with God’s reputation
Image = can affect our confidence
Faith = confidence is in God

If you look at God’s view on image He was more concerned with what was going on inside a person’s heart rather than how the outside looked. When King Saul acted because of how things were making him look, it cost him his kingship. While David, who was considered unlikely because he didn’t fit the part was described from God’s perspective as ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

Image should not be a reason to stop me but it sometimes it is.
Image can override my ability to trust God.
Image may stop me stepping out of the things I know and am comfy in, into areas where I don’t know everything.

I can’t play not to lose. I need to be more determined to do whatever I can, concerning myself less with how it makes me look and focus more on how it makes God look. That means I MUST exercise my faith in God – after all, he wouldn’t put things in me if he didn’t believe I could handle it.

[What other things can stop us?]

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