“…the one who received the one talent came forward saying; Master, I knew that you were a harsh man…I was afraid and I hid your talent in the ground. ” Matthew 25:4-30 The very first time I read this (more that 45 years ago) I assumed that the “Master” in the story was in fact a harsh man who took what didn’t belong to him. Why would anybody want to be in service to someone who is constantly taking things away from them? The story actually tells of a Master who is giving something of value to his servants and when the those servants who worked hard increased that value, the Master gave them more! I think I can understand the servant who was afraid. Perhaps he just wanted to make sure that he didn’t screw up the one talent that was given to him. However we learn from this parable that allowing fear to hinder us won’t move us in the direction that God wants us to go, nor will we fully experience any of God’s rewards. We should never be afraid to use the “talents” God has given us.