Trust vs. Fear
I recently came across an article from gotquestions.org, an excellent Bible question and answer website. An excerpt follows below, the question addressed was 'Should a Christian declare bankruptcy?':
Biblical Principal #1: We have the responsibility to keep our promises and pay what we owe. Ecc 5:4-5 says, "When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed - better not to vow than to vow and not pay."
Biblical Principal #2: Living on credit and not paying back what we owe is characteristic of the wicked. Psalm 37:21 says, "The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives."
All this talk about righteous and wicked servants reminded me of the 'parable of the talents' that Christ told his disciples in Matt 25:14-30. He told the story of a master giving 1 man five talents, another man two talents, and the last man received one talent. When the master returned, he found that 2 of the 3 servants were faithful and trusted his master's command to invest the money. The last wicked servant was too afraid, so he dug a hole in the ground and buried the 1 talent.
We can apply this parable in terms of literal financial repayment (as mentioned in the first article I quoted above), but I am speaking here of Spiritual Repayment. What causes us to take what Jesus has given us (either money, our individual gifts, anything) and hold onto it like a miser? The answer I think is FEAR. The first 2 servants trusted their master and put the talents to work for them… the last servant was afraid. He could repay his master nothing, other than the same amount that was given. There was no return on any investment.
TRUST causes INCREASE. Fear causes stagnation and death. This is a literal principal, as well as a spiritual one. If you hang on to something for dear life, you will lose it. If you are generous and Trust in God, you will gain what you need, with all the rest rolled in. Notice I didn’t say what you want, rather what you need!
So then, in whom are we trusting?