His master replied, \’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master\’s happiness!\’ – Matthew 25:21 NIV

As a little girl, I use to daydream a lot and tended to dawdle. In first grade, my teacher saw some artistic talent in me, and gave me an assignment to paint a poster-sized picture. Every day I spent part of my recess time staying inside and working on it.

I\’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so the progress became painstakingly slow. One day my teacher came in to see how much I\’d accomplished and exclaimed, “This is how much you\’ve got done?”

I can still remember how hot my face felt. I can see the disappointment in her eyes. I thought I\’d done well, but realized at that moment how slowly I had worked. She wanted to cultivate my talent for drawing, and agreed to let me continue, but begged me to “pick up the pace.”

Fear played a part in my perfectionism. I wanted to do it right so badly, I agonized over every stroke of the paintbrush. That wise teacher helped me to see the bigger picture – both realistically and figuratively.

In Matthew 25, we read a parable Jesus told of a man going on a journey. He entrusted his property to his servants. The man who received five talents gained five. The one with two doubled them to four talents. But the man with one talent dug a hole and hid the master\’s money.

When the master returned, he praised the first two servants. But the third man received harsh punishment because he didn\’t do as his master wished.

And why didn\’t he? Fear. “\’Master,\’ he said, \’I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you\’ (Matthew 25:24-25 NIV).

Perhaps fear is keeping you from ministering in some way. Maybe you\’re like me, always reaching for perfectionism. There is only One Who is perfect, and God uses plain, ordinary, flawed people like you and me. As our Master, God loves us and uses us by the power of the Holy Spirit to do His work on earth. My desire is to hear Him say at the end of my life\’s journey, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Whatever your ministry is, I pray it will be blessed abundantly. Step out in faith today. What do you want to do for God? What\’s stopping you?

Prayer: God, I ask that you use me, an imperfect person, to fulfill Your perfect purpose for my life. Help me to overcome all my fears, releasing them into Your hands, so that by faith, I will live a life dedicated to Your will. In Jesus\’ Name I pray. Amen.

Donna J. Shepherd looks at everyday life and finds God\’s fingerprints everywhere. A columnist for The Dabbling Mum, NABBW, and CWAHM, she has hundreds of articles and devotionals to her credit. Her devotionals and stories appear in Daily Grace for Women, Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms, and The Best Grandma in the World to name a few. Donna\’s children\’s books, Topsy Turvy Land, No More Gunk! & OUCH! Sunburn!, and Chizzy\’s Topsy Tale feature short, playful rhymes and humorous illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier. To read more, visit her website at www.donnajshepherd.com

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).