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The Trouble with Squirrels


Sermon shared by Mary Lewis

April 2001
Summary: Sometimes playing it safe is dangerous
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: Believer adults
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The third:doesn’t want to risk or work
wants to hang on to what he’s got

The first two: Received the gift – which was not so much the money, (which remained the master’s), but the trust of and the partnership with the master
The third:Refuses the gift (“Here’s what’s yours”)

The first two: Recognize the partnership the master has offered them
The third:Rejects the partnership

The first two: Desire to advance the master’s domain
The third:Has no interest in or connection to the master’s domain

The first two: View the money/gift as an opportunity
The third:Views the money/gift as a problem

The first two: Allows the master’s gift to change their lives
The third:Refuses to let the master’s gift touch his life

The first two: Were given “real” responsibility
The third:Lost the responsibility his gift had given

The first two: Entered into the joy of the master
The third:Was cast out from the master into a place of darkness & regret

Here’s my question for you: Which of the servants “played it safe”?
The 5-talent guy and the 2-talent guy risked their money. It turned out well for them.
But they didn’t know – in the middle of the story - that they would double their investment. Perhaps there were times when it seemed they would lose everything.
But they took the risk and used the gift

The 1-talent guy told the master he had been afraid
He decided to “play it safe” He hid the money to make sure it wouldn’t be lost. He accomplished exactly what he set out to achieve: nothing

Just like one of my friends used to say, “If you aim at nothing, you hit it every time.”

But there is something about the master that all three of them knew, but only one of them came out and said.
That is: he was a man who reaped where he had not planted and gathered harvests where he had not scattered any seed

Doesn’t that mean he was a man who expected his servants to plant and scatter seed for him?
That he was a man who expected his servants to use what he gave them to get a return?

The first two men don’t say that about their master, but their actions proved they knew it all the same
Although the master hadn’t given them precise instructions about what to do with the money, they knew they had better “plant” & “scatter” it, so their master would have a harvest to reap when he returned.

The third man understood his master’s nature perfectly well.He understood what he expected from his servants.
But he refused to take the risk to do it. He said he was too afraid to take such a risk

But shouldn’t he have been more afraid to fail to fulfill the master’s will and expectation? He wanted to “play it safe” – but did he? If I were to choose who I am most like in this parable, I would definitely pick the 1-talent guy. Not so much because I think God hasn’t given me much, But because for so long, I was afraid to use what God gave me

I’ve always been the kind of person who really didn’t want to get in trouble. I didn’t want to make waves
But this parable has changed my life

In fact, if this parable weren’t in the Bible, I doubt very much I would be standing here this morning. I want to talk about something I rarely talk about, but I am only doing it because I think it illustrates something very important about this parable.

Like most, maybe all, of you, I wasn’t raised thinking that “woman” and “pastor” went
Comments and Shared Ideas
David Holland
January 23, 2009
Mary, this is a wonderful sermon. Thanks, and may God bless your ministry!

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