Bringing the Text to Life
If worry is the interest paid on trouble before it is due, the faint-hearted servant of today's text was maxed to the gills.
You can sympathize with the poor guy of the parable who, when given some money to invest, fell victim to paralysis by analysis, worried that he might lose the whole wad. So he buried it rather than buying bonds or taking a chance with the bulls and bears of the stock market. When the CEO returned, heads rolled.
The hapless servant was afflicted with toxic worry. Toxic worriers are "people who obsess over everything that could possibly go wrong -- to the point of paralysis. Toxic worriers are 2 1/2 times more likely to suffer heart attacks than less stressed-out individuals," reports Wired magazine (March 1999, 54).
How can we deal with toxic worry in our lives? Let's go straight to the Scripture. When we hear this parable, most of us think that the servant was "unfaithful" or "lazy," as the text renders it.
While this is part of the picture, there is...