In Jesus’ “Parable of the Ten Pounds” (Luke 19) a nobleman calls in ten servants and gives each of them one pound with instructions to do business with it until he returns.
One of the servants works hard and earns ten more pounds, another earned five pounds. But a third was afraid to risk it and possibly lose it, so he hid it away and handed it back to the nobleman whole but with no increase.
The first two servants were amply rewarded for their efforts, and the third was roundly condemned. But here’s a question for you. Jesus deliberately makes the point that ten servants received some capital to invest, but we only hear about three of them. What about the other seven?
Here’s a theory. Those other seven servants put the money at risk, took some chances – and lost every penny.
If this is true, the nobleman still made a handsome return on his diversified investment (60 percent!). And while he wouldn’t be happy that seven of his servants lost it all, he would at least admit that they tried, very much unlike that one servant who attempted nothing because he was afraid.
It’s true that there is some honor in giving it your best but coming up short. There might not be any accolades, but neither is there any condemnation for those who try. Maybe that’s what the other seven are all about.
Lenny Cacchio is a resident of Lee’s Summit. He blogs at http://morningcompanionblogspot.com/.