How to Fear Less & Step Out More

Every single one of us has talent and meaningful contributions to offer. If you feel like you’ve been skipped in the talent distribution line, I’m here to show you otherwise and to encourage you to step out and share your wonderful gifts with a world eager to receive them.

How Much Talent Have We Been Given?

Jesus describes what this distribution looks like in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). The master is going away on a journey. He divides and distributes his property up to his three servants to manage. One servant was given five talents, one was given two, and one was given only one talent.

I’ve often heard this parable and have always felt a tinge bad for the last servant until I found out what a talent was! A talent is a measurement of the weight of gold or silver and just one talent weighs in at approximately 75 lbs. 75 pounds of gold or silver. This sum would equal about a million U.S. dollars in today’s world.

So now that we have feeling sorry for the last servant off of the table, the story continues. Both of the first two servants invested and made a 100% return, but the last servant was afraid and hid his talent, not even earning interest, had he invested with bankers.

When Fear Strikes and We Hide Our Talents

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’” (Matthew 25:24-25)

You might be tempted to sympathize with the one-talent-servant as I am. In my struggle with fear the past couple of years, I’ve often neglected to serve people and to give in a lot of the areas that I know I’m gifted in. I’ve retreated into isolation, with a million excuses. I’m trying to figure out my life. I can’t find the right place. I’m afraid.

A Reason to Fear Fear and Complacency

But in spite of the servant’s fear and excuses, the master’s response to him was not at all sympathetic! He didn’t tell him to lie down and talk about his childhood and attempt to dissect the root of his fears. The master did and said the scariest words and actions any one of us could fathom ever hearing and experiencing. “But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!….” (vs. 26) “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 30)

It can be confusing to understand the severity of a response like that. In this parable, Jesus is using a monetary analogy for the talents and gifts we all have been freely given, but He’s also saying that these gifts and talents that we have are not our own. They are actually on loan and what we do with them is not for our own gain but for His.

Lastly, and most importantly, the servant’s lack of action showed that he didn’t love his master nor did he believe he was good.

Fear & Complacency is a Self-Life

Instead of joyfully receiving his talent and risking himself in order to possibly grow his master’s wealth, he operated out of a spirit of self-preservation. I imagine he was overwhelmed with the responsibility and resented it, hiding it and emphatically pushing it back with a “HERE! Take it back, I don’t want it!”

How often are we assaulted with this feeling? We know that God has given us a gift of hospitality, but we care too much what people might think of our home or whatever small things we have to offer to extend an invitation. We know that we have been gifted with a voice to sing, but to step on a stage in front of people is terrifying. We know that we’ve been gifted with sharing or writing or creating, but we don’t put in all of the work necessary to grow it because it’s often uncomfortable, we can’t decide if it’s what we really want to do, and it’s hard.

It’s also important to note that the first word that the master called him was ‘slothful,’ which I feel like is an even worse word for lazy. Some other synonyms being idle, inactive, sluggish, apathetic, lethargic, listless…. this is literally just describing me every morning. This is also largely why we don’t step out and use our gifts. We’re exhausted from over-packed schedules, we’re bored, uninspired, stressed, worried and so absorbed with our own inner turmoil, however valid it may be, we bury our talents.

What Does Stepping Out Look Like?

Our life is not to be lived for our own comfort, our personal growth, or even our own achievements. We are to risk ourselves for Christ with our God-given abilities.

What does this look like?

Servanthood

Jesus said that lived out it looks like servanthood.  “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’” (Matthew 25:35-36)

Love

And this out of a heart of love. As love drives out fear (1 John 4:18), the knowledge that using our gifts and talents is about serving and loving others and less about how we perform really helps remove a lot of fear. You can also start small! We don’t have to step out and expose ourselves to our greatest fear tomorrow to be faithful to use our gifts.

If you know that you are gifted in preaching, have a friend or two over for bible studies. For hospitality, if you don’t want to have people in your home, plan a picnic in the park. If you know you are gifted in sharing or writing and starting a blog seems too daunting, start an Instagram account and share there. If serving in ministry at church seems too big a step, start serving with a family you personally know.

We have all been given enough talents to step out into what servanthood and love are for us, a million dollars worth! None of us are talent bankrupt. And as a bonus, the more we think of our talents as investments for Jesus and the more we use our talents to grow God’s account, the more He multiplies them. “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance.” (vs. 29) So if you feel your talent bucket is running on empty, step out, even with the tiniest of efforts and watch and see how God multiplies your investment.

What We Receive in Return

Jesus says that when we lose our lives for Him, that is when we find them. (Matthew 10:39) This is arguably the most sought-after commodity in the world. People spend and invest their entire lives just to find a minute of real fulfillment in life. When we offer up our skills and talents to others for God, we find life! The life some of us might be desperately searching for right now. It will take pushing through discomfort and resistance, physical and mental. It will take getting off the couch or out of bed when we don’t feel like it. It will take awkward moments. It might take some experimenting and it will definitely include some failing.

But when we truly believe that everything good that we have is a gift from the Creator of the Universe and it’s not at all our own, our lives were purchased at a high price, we should be able to take our eyes off of the fear and insecurities and with a spirit of gratitude, offer up our skills, talents, and gifts to one another. After all, it’s not our talents at stake. It’s not our life. It’s His and we are only doing our best to offer it back to him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the servant that Jesus welcomes with these comforting words!

Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (vs. 21)

REFLECTION

  • Have you let fear get in the way of stepping out into your God-given talents? If so, in what ways?

  • Are you spending too much time escaping? Is your schedule jam-packed with zero room to breathe? Be intentional and plan. Life will get away from you if you allow it to just happen to you. 

  • Carving out time requires the possibility of cutting away other things. What can you cut away to leave room for growing your gifts?

Comment below, if you have anything to share in relation to this; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

10 thoughts on “How to Fear Less & Step Out More

  1. Ouch. That stings. You know how sometimes God tries to get our attention? First it’s very subtle. If that doesn’t work, He’ll try again, maybe not quite as subtly… Maybe eventually some of us might even need “a slap upside the head”. If God wants our attention, He will eventually get it. As you say here, I’ve been too busy lately and letting my talent languish, not even putting it on deposit to get a little interest. This post is – for me – a “second notice”. I’m going to try to rearrange things a bit and try to get the important stuff back on the front burner again. Thank you for the timely reminder.

    1. YES. I am always the one getting smacked up side the head. I’m trying to learn to be more sensitive to His voice and willing to move sooner though!

      I’m so glad that God used this to speak to you🙏🏼 Be brave & take those baby steps!

  2. God is always faithful to his children. I have been recently coming out isolation and have found a new church. I haven’t went to church for a year or two. I have been so full of fear. But to read He didn’t tell him to lie down and talk about his childhood and attempt to dissect the root of his fears. That’s what I feel like I’m doing and I want to confess that sin. Also by being so full of fear pushing my talent down. I want to confess that sin too. If you keep searching for an answer he will give it. I was just sitting here trying to figure out what sin I needed to confess. Confessing sin I have already confessed trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Because one of my daily words was talking about Confessing sin a couple times this week. So i keep reading every email that i have received that has to do with God and there it is in your blog. The sin I needed to confess… so simple.

    1. That’s so great that you are stepping back into church again. I definitely relate to your struggles as I am working through the same things. I think as long as we keep moving forward, keep going to Christ for our strength, and just inch by inch move, we will be surprised at how far He has taken us once we look back. I read this today in my devotional and thought of your comment. We do need to confess our sins, but we rest in His grace. <3 Thanks for sharing!
      -Amy

      "When it comes to the weight of sin and guilt, we are not meant to secure freedom from it through striving harder.

      “But now, having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-24)

      “When our shortcomings today threaten to weigh us down, we return to this truth: We are set free f r o m being judged according to our own obedience, but are freed t o obedience in love for a merciful Savior.”

      “Doesn’t that lighten your heart, friend?

      You see, our freedom isn’t dependent on our circumstances or our performance today.

      We need not to return to burdensome yoke of striving and condemnation; instead, we run... and collapse into the field of grace that welcomes us into true freedom.” - Ruth Chou Simons, GracedLaced Book

  3. Trust me I have been struggling for a long time to just confess my sin and rest in his grace. But I’m finally learning that once we confess it he forgets all about it, and I should too. There is freedom in letting him have our sin. He doesn’t want us running
    around thinking he remembers every little thing we have done wrong. It’s definitely a learning process and I wouldn’t trade the pain for anything. Because I know that he has given me a talent, and I’m still trying to figure out just exactly what it is. But when you have went through it someone else who is going through it is more likely to listen to what your saying, when you say I have been through that too. Just now starting to really grasp ahold of that too. But after reading the your blog today, and confessing sin. I took a chance and sent someone an encouraging text message because they was having some struggles at work. They texted back thanks I needed that. It put a smile on my face, i keep reading the the text and was like that’s some good stuff. If you dont take a chance you will never know what your talent is. I have struggled with writing and expressing myself with words. So in the past I would never do something like this for other people to be able to read. I would be to scared! But if I take a chance one day I will be able to write as beautifully as you do. So thank you for taking the time in the middle of your struggles to be some light shinning through.

    1. This is beautiful, I can see that you’re taking steps of faith. God will honor that. I’m so glad that God used my words to bring light to your day! ♥️ God is faithful!

    2. A valuable observation, I think. I went to a church for a long time that liked to hammer on the fact that we are sinners. I eventually left there – long story, but partially because of the lack of compassion. No argument there – we’re sinners. (duh!) But God wants us to be focused on and dependent on HIM. If we’re always looking in the mirror – consumed with OUR wants, OUR plans, etc, that’s wrong. But I think it’s just as much of a mistake to be constantly looking at our sins and failures. Our focus is STILL on ourselves, even though it’s negative. The answer as you say here is to confess, repent, accept His grace and forgiveness with thanksgiving and move on.

      1. Thank you! I know my reply kinda sounds like I’m focusing on sin but I felt like God was wanting me to confess something and reading the blog really helped me to see that. It had been coming up alot in the bible and in my daily word about Confessing sin. I have been in isolation in complete fear. When I would leave to go to the store,because sometimes you got to leave your prison of fear. Well because of fear i buried my talent deep inside me. So it really hit me today. I know the story, but reading that today just really hit me what I have done. I’m proud of myself for confessing it and letting it go. In the past I would have never done something like this because of fear. Writing is something I struggle with. I A+ algebra and geometry in school but writing was a struggle. It came up alot through out the years I should write a book. I’m like me no. But it came up the other day again and I’m like that’s funny because it keeps coming up. So I shared my struggle with writing and they said maybe that’s what you was made to believe. I’m like that’s funny because that’s been coming up alot too. So I’m just trying to step out on faith and take a chance with something that I struggle with and see if God makes me a writer. So confessing that I’m not taking chances and discovering my talent is sin helped me today with fear.

        1. I just don’t want anyone to think that’s what I was trying to do is focus on sin because it wasn’t. I had just been asking God what sin I needed to confess even last night kinda going over sin I had already confessed. I was like what is it God. Well today he let me know. So as you see I do have problems with saying what’s going on so that everyone else can get what I’m really trying to say. So I just really had to reply again. I was just having a God moment and maybe replied to soon and didn’t really think it out how it would be taken.

        2. Sometimes God puts different areas on our hearts at different times so I totally understand.

          It sounds like you’re learning a lot and growing- keep going to the Lord for wisdom in all these areas and He will direct you and give you courage and strength to do what He has prepared for you.

          Also, what God calls us to do is often not our natural gifting so that we have to trust Him for the ability and He receives the glory. ❤️

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