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Jun 29, 2009

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Travis Greene

The faithfulness vs. effectiveness is a tough one, because obviously sometimes that is just an excuse for mediocrity and ineffectiveness, but sometimes it really is true that we don't see the results of our own faithful actions, or won't for years.

I've always wondered how the master in that parable would have responded to a servant who lost all his talents by investing them. Would he be kicked out like the scaredy-cat servant? Commended for at least failing forward?

Michael W. Kruse

Sometime back I read that in NT world, a servant was expected to have the very mind of the master in all the servant did. Failure to think and act as the master would have thought, made a slave useless.

There is some question as to whether Jesus intended the master to be understood as a hard and demanding man in the parable. There were frequently two types of wealthy folks in the culture. First, there was the lord who lived on the plains ... who harvested and raised livestock. Second, there were the hill country marauders who swooped in to take what they wanted, when they wanted it, from the plains people, with considerable flare and intimidation. The idea of being a hard and ruthless man would have been a characterization such a marauder would have relished.

The set up of the parable seems to suggest that the master is of the first variety but the servant tries to brown-nose him by attributing a marauders traits to his master. Therefore, the servant screws up in two ways. First, he has utterly misjudged what type of master he serves. Second, assuming his understanding had been correct, he did not act with his master's mind and heart. Either way he has not understood and acted as the master would.

I agree with you that the "faithfulness vs. effectiveness is a tough one." There is no neat formula. There is considerable paradox.

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