In Luke 19:20-21, we read: “Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow’” (ESV). In this passage, we see that this individual could not even do the safe and easy response. He could have put this mina in the bank to collect interest for his master. This response would have been easy and without risk, but this person was paralyzed by fear.
When looking at this parable, most people focus on how fear caused this servant to not take a risk and invest what was given to him to engage in business. I get this. I understand fear. I have been afraid too many times. But what we see here isn’t simply being afraid to take a risk. This person was so afraid, he didn’t even take it to a safer, more secure place to keep. The servant took the mina and put it in a handkerchief. He was so paralyzed by fear, he did not even make the safe choice.
This is the danger we have when faced with fear. Fear not only keeps us from taking risks, dreaming big, and reaching for the hard to reach opportunities. Fear also can stop us from doing that which is safe, that which is easy, that which is ordinary. Fear doesn’t only keep us from taking risks, it can shut us down from doing what we’ve been doing. It can halt us at any point.
How is fear paralyzing you today? How is anxiety keeping you from living life to the fullest? How is worry stealing your joy? Isaiah 41:10 reminds us: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (ESV). We do not have to be paralyzed by fear my friends. God is with us. God will strengthen. God will help. God will uphold.