I’m working on becoming more open with others and sharing part of my heart on my blog is one way I’m doing that.
So, after much deliberation, I decided to try to boost my blog readership by offering a free eBook to subscribers and I excitedly undertook my new project. Just as I’d hoped, it worked! My readership grew significantly in a very short amount of time.
So what did I do? I hit the ground running, right? I took off with my writing and kept posting articles that others could read and share with their friends, and my subscriber list kept growing and growing, right?
I wrote nothing.
And while those things were real reasons not to spend hours a day writing, when I honestly assessed myself I knew they weren’t the true cause for my lack of writing, so I needed to dig a little deeper.
I was so afraid of writing the wrong thing and scaring my readers off that I wrote nothing.
Now, I understand the irony of this. If I write the wrong things and everyone leaves, then I’m probably not reaching anyone. If I don’t write anything at all, then I’m definitely not reaching anyone.
I also get that if I don’t write, then I’m burying my talent. And while talent-burying is a safe and comfortable way to live, it’s not what I truly want to do.
This is kind-of like the buried talents we read about in Matthew 25:14-30.
Each person in this parable was given a different amount of money (referred to as talents). The first two servants used their talents to earn more talents. But the third servant, being afraid to lose the one talent he’d been given, buried his money to keep it safe.
When it came time to report to their master, the first two servants were praised. Here’s the exchange between the third servant and his master:
Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord… I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant… you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. (Matthew 25:24-27, emphasis mine)
That servant didn’t lose his talent, he simply tucked it away for safe keeping. And he was condemned for it.
The parable could be about me. Here I am blessed tremendously with a jump in subscribers, so what do I do? I hide. I bury my talent and think of every reason imaginable not to use it. But really, I am just scared. Scared of rejection, and ridicule, and losing my readership, and saying the wrong thing in the wrong way, and, and, and…
I am this one of little faith:
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)
Time and time again, God has proven His faithfulness and time and time again, I doubt.
When will I learn?
But I want to learn. I’m determined.
So, I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to write when I want to and write when I don’t. I’m making a goal to carve writing time into each day, whether it’s five minutes or two hours, in a notebook or on my computer. And I’m making a commitment to write about things that matter. I’m determined to keep writing in spite of my fears, until I conquer my fears.
And while I want to use my talent as well as I can, I also want to make sure that I’m not neglecting my family in the process.
I want to encourage you to use your own talent for good. Whether your gift is writing, sewing, baking, cleaning, teaching, or something else, please don’t bury your talent like I’ve buried mine.
My hope is that we will all use our talents well so one day we can have a conversation like this with the Lord:
He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:22-23, emphasis mine)