What Are You Doing With Your Minas?
He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work, he said, ‘until I come back.'”
Luke 19: 12-13
On December 1st, I decided to read through the book of Luke–one chapter a day. Somehow for me the Gospels often get skipped over for other things–the Psalms, Proverbs, the prophetic books–but Luke has felt like balm to my soul all month long.
Chapter 19 ends with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, knowing he was marching to His death. Such a powerful scene to picture. But what stood out to me in chapter 19 more than anything was the parable just before the entry to Jerusalem: the Parable of the Ten Minas. (Luke 19: 11-27)
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More than standing out to me, I was thoroughly convicted by it.
I recommend reading the whole thing, but in a nutshell, the parable is this:
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- a noble man about to be anointed King (Jesus) goes away, but first gives 10 of his servants 10 minas to “put to work” until he returns
- A mina is 1/60 of a talent–an ancient unit of measuring currency
- 7 of the 10 condemn the name of the king, denounce his reign as king, and do their own thing
- 1 servant invests his 10 minas wisely and earns a lot back in return
- 1 servant invests well too and earns less back, but still a profit
- And the last servant hides his money, does nothing with it
The parable focuses on the third servant. The first two are ultimately blessed immensely and put in charge over multiple cities. The other 7 who swore off the king were ultimately killed–but that third servant. He’s the one who opened my eyes.
The Unfaithful Servant
The unfaithful servant took the small amount from the king and hoarded it for himself. He kept it all for himself. Took no risks. Played it safe.
He thinks he’s doing the right thing because he doesn’t want to lose what little amount he has.
But he sorely deceives himself.
He fails to realize that everything he has has been given to him from God–and can be taken in an instant if not used well.
We can let fears, worries, shame, excuses keep us from doing God’s will. But whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, everything we’ve been given is from God and He hasn’t called us to hide it for ourselves–or for our own gain, our own legacies.
He calls us to trust Him. To be faithful. And to step out in confidence, knowing whom we belong to.
For months I have struggled with social media. To be perfectly honest, I would love to delete it all. Regain the time and distraction and lack of focus it causes. We all know it’s designed to addict us, distract us, lull us to sleep.
I’ve prayed for months for a clear direction with social media.
The recent release of Instagram’s new Terms + Conditions made me certain this was my answer. But it didn’t feel settled–didn’t feel like a true answer from God. So for now, I’m still there.
And then I read the parable of the ten minas.
2020 has awoken many of us in many ways. I will include myself among the awoken.
God’s sovereignty had become a forgotten commodity. Prayers few and far between. Bible, a subject in our homeschool. 2020 has reminded me all of this is at my fingertips–what will I do with my 10 minas?
For now, I’m supposed to say things that make me uncomfortable to say. I’d rather talk about the bathroom project we’re working on, show you my design board. Read aloud choices are more my comfort level here.
But that feels like hiding right now.
Not my bathroom design board
Last Friday, I shared a storybook Vera had written on Instagram stories. A stack of copy paper holding the gripping tale of a missing Christmas stocking. Evidence that we need to work on the spelling of “as” having only ONE “s.”
Surprisingly, her sweet little book was flagged by the Big Tech overlords. Apparently when you mix your uppercase letters and lowercase letters when spelling the word “could,” the bots that constantly scan our content for dangerous rhetoric, think you’re trying to spew out misinformation about COVID-19.
The post was flagged so fast, like maybe 10 seconds.
How is it that a media giant like Instagram can scan their millions of users’ stories for misinformation on COVID, but have such trouble removing the 1000s of users that use the app to either peddle child porn or look for it for their own consumption? How?
And if the flagging of storybooks, the censoring of pages, the removal of information really is for our own health and safety, why can’t they remove users whose sole purpose of using the app is to harm children?
One must ask the question: is it really about health and safety?
And does it really matter if we question it? Does it really matter if we bob our heads along with the masses, cancel our holidays, stop hugging our parents, and seeing our friends?
Should we question or should we listen?
I say we question and here’s why:
Our children are watching
All of us have been given a handful of mina. Your handful looks different than mine. Mine looks different than yours.
But if you’re a regular reader of mine, chances are you have children. And there’s a good chance you homeschool those children.
Our children don’t actually belong to us, they are God’s, but yes, they have been entrusted to us–our mina.
Over these last ten months, I have seen children that were a big part of our lives–friends that were like my own children–become unrecognizable. The terror of the pandemic, trickled down from their parents has paralyzed them with fear. They are not the same kids as they were before. Barely leaving their house–even for a walk around the block.
There are children I know who have been medicated because they can’t sit still for distance learning. Others who have become addicted to their screens, barely coming up for air–when 10 months ago, they loved playing outside with friends.
What are we showing our kids by our own reactions to the chaos of 2020? Are we using our own critical thinking? Or are we falling into line obediently? Are we asking any questions at all? Or are we nodding along with the constant barrage of dooms day narrative and holing our kids up, instilling our own fears in them?
Homeschoolers, by definition, are boat-rockers
We decided to not entrust the school system to educate our kids. We have thought outside the box, forge our own path.
Homeschoolers are a community of free-thinkers. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all.
Are we carrying over that skepticism to the events of this year too?
Have we shown our kids to think critically?
Or have we been lulled to sleep by our scrolling fingers and Netflix and refused to think for ourselves?
What will we do with our mina?
I will lose readers for saying the unpopular things:
- that we should use our own critical thinking and do what is best for our families, regardless of what the State says
- that there is more than one smart doctor in the US
- and that there are consequences to filling children with fear
My purpose for this article isn’t to tell you what to think, but to think.
About why NYC restaurants are shuttered, but SNL actors can do their thing, maskless, no less.
Or why it’s not ok for us to visit our families for holidays, but many politicians did just that for Thanksgiving.
Last weekend, Sophia and I went to the mall. It was packed. The line for Auntie Ann’s pretzels was 30+ long, but all the mall restaurants were closed down. Why?
We’ve all been given our handful of mina– our children, gifts, talents. You know what God has gifted to you. Someday we’ll have to show Him what we did with them. I hope we all have plenty of reward to give Him back in return.
I firmly believe that we can– if we step out and trust Him.
And for the record, here is the bathroom design board:
I’m still here for the read aloud ideas. Just expanding. Click HERE for a really fun Christmas Eve idea–have you heard of Jolabokaflod? See? Fun!
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post about how we’re using our Minas. The passion you have for helping parents raise God-honoring kiddos was so clearly evident in everything I read. It particularly resonated with where you talked about how we can let fears, worries, and excuses keep us from doing God’s will. It’s so true that everything we have comes from Him, and His will for our lives isn’t to hide or hoard it for our own gain, our own legacies. Rather we know what His will is: If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 1 John 3:17
He calls us to trust Him. To be faithful. And to step out in confidence, knowing whom we belong to. What an incredible reminder of what God requires of us, to not be like the faithless servant, but rather, to trust in His goodness and faithfulness to us. Anyway, I wanted to share how much I appreciated you sharing.
I love this so much. I too have been struggling with how to wisely use social media. I actually decided to leave IG, wrote a goodbye post, but haven’t yet deleted. Why? Well, I’m waiting for my download link from IG to download my content. It is taking FOREVER and I’m wondering if I’ll ever get it. I stopped following all the accounts that fed my angst and started sharing differently- scripture and inspiring quotes rather than all the things that many would consider conspiracy theory (aka questioning the narrative). I think its really difficult to discern how to be IN the world, but not OF the world when it comes to social media (or as my husband calls it, “unsocial media.” Part of what made me want to just be DONE with it has been reading The Benedictine Way by Rod Dreher. HIGHLY recommend if you haven’t read it?.
Thank you for these wonderful words. I can be oh so hard to say the uncomfortable things, but we often find that we are not alone when we do.
Thank you for your boldness and for challenging us to think about these issues more deeply. I could not agree more and am with you on this whole post. I’m actually enjoying getting back into this blog space instead of scrolling squares. It feels more mindful and life giving here. I look forward to seeing you here on your blog. I’m grateful for all you share!
I’ve been a long-time follower of your blog and IG. I’m with you…about FB and IG. Now YouTube also….where does the buck stop. Media is propagating their own personal narrative. It’s insane that they’re getting away with that. I don’t know the answer really, but good for you for saying what needs to be said and most importantly, HEARD.
Amen! I’ve loved watching you dig into the Word these last months … it’s all we’ve got that will stand. I haven’t made a final decision on IG although I did delete FB. I love looking at pictures on IG ? And it seems if I’m worried about IG and privacy I’ll have to also consider our Alexa and smart devices in general … our lives have been infiltrated ? I dream of going back to the days of no internet and slow news ? Are we really meant to know about and try to take on and solve the whole world’s problems ? Or should we be focused on the place and sphere God has placed us in? Just some of my pondering ?
This is the best thing I’ve read all year! Thank you for all the encouraging words! Merry Christmas!
Thank you! Thank you for encouragement by speaking up when it is hard. I agree with you. You are my very favorite person to follow on IG. ?
Yes! I agree! 1000% I appreciate you writing a blog post about this as well. I was so upset by new IG rules and them flagging your daughter’s pic on IG, I uninstalled it that night and ranted to my husband. I haven’t deleted it- yet. I may wait until after the Holidays and I had time to save content. I did dust off my blog after far too long and I’m loving reading posts again. ❤
Amen and amen! I needed to hear these words today. I teeter back and forth between fear and trusting. And it needs to stop for my mental health and to show my children what trusting God really looks like.
I appreciate you and your words. They have helped and continue to help me more than you know!
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
When I deleted Instagram a few days ago, I felt such relief! It was always there, pulling me in, distracting me. I signed up for all my favorite accounts’ blogs. I’m so glad that I can still be connected to blogs like yours.
Loved your post. I deleted my Instagram yesterday because of their new terms of service. Before deleted it I found some of my favorites I follow and am now following their blogs instead. I’m realizing how much I have missed blogs this morning. Maybe we can all bring them back!
I’m in a state where there are no lock downs. It’s always a bit surreal to me reading about everyone’s experience in their states. Sometimes it seems we are in different countries all together. Praying more will open up as we haven’t seen influxes in cases due to being open.
Thank you for focusing on our minas being our children.
Thank you for this! This parable offers a lot to contemplate. Thank you.
I have always loved your blog post and Instagram feed but over the past few months I’ve loved it more than ever! I have been so encouraged reading through your thoughts on the what your reading in the Bible. One thing that has come out of this crazy year is my relationship with Jesus has grown leaps and bounds and I am so grateful for that! Keep speaking your heart and asking questions! I am trying to do the same.
Thanks so much for speaking up. I agree 100%, and I’m so thankful we still have a few neighborhood kids and homeschool friends to play with. I’m seeing shocking changes in the personalities of both my parents and in-laws. The rhetoric we’re seeing is impacting so many ?
Hi there, I’ve messaged a few times on IG and appreciate your honesty. I always try to balance wisdom, God, and science. I think they can all co-exist and not counter each other. I have a family of 3 kids—all asthmatics. My son has been hospitalized with lung issues twice, and all of my children have been on steroids for asthma, as have I: But the truth is, this pandemic is hard on everyone, not just us.
It is so important to balance mental health with physical health—I get it. That said, we are still seeing a very small part of our family during this holiday season, but we chose not to travel because we are trying to lower our risk.
All I ask is that people consider their entire human family when making decisions at this time, because the truth is, love covers a multitude of sins (and suffering that sin causes). We are called to care for the widow and the weak, and by making wise decisions (like mask-wearing, which many oppose), we are doing so.
I’m familiar with the mantra: faith over fear, but faith does not mean behaving recklessly and disregarding facts. The fact is, many will be fine, but many does not mean everyone. Perfect love casts out fear… right? God calls us to love him first and then to love our brothers and sisters with a sincere love (that helps relieve their fear). Sincere love means sacrifice, which Jesus perfectly displayed to us on the cross…it was inconvenient and lonely and we will never know that level of pain. The cross of inconvenience that we currently have to bear is not nearly as heavy as the cross he bore, and he told us we can do all things through him; isn’t that real freedom? More than the freedom thah comes from being massless, I’d say ;). I just hope that while we are deciding what to do this holiday season, or pandemic season, we consider the lives of those outside our circle… the vulnerable and the weak, and even those amazing healthcare workers on the front lines. They are carrying a heavy load; why make it harder on them? I can only imagine how hard it must be for their children… I, too, worry about the mental health of our children (and adults) right now. But I know during times of struggle, we can grow closer to God and each other, and we can show our children (and the world) how to lean on God during difficult times, instead of creating division (when we should be uniting to fight this awful virus any way we can).
I also think this is a convicting time; I do think relationships can be idolized. Human interaction is so important, but at what cost? People will travel across the world to share the love of Christ to the lost, and go on foreign mission trips that require them to learn new languages so they can share God’s love, but some of us are unwilling to do something smaller—be a little inconvenienced to protect the lives of our brothers and sisters here at home, or ease the suffering in our own communities. I just don’t get it, to be honest. I’ve lost sleep over this and my heart is so heavy. The church is supposed to help strengthen its community, not weaken it.
I have family in Los Angeles (including a young cousin with cancer), where hospitals are overcrowded. I have family members who work in Los Angeles hospitals, and they can attest to the suffering and crowding there (people are being treated in their cars because hospitals are running out of space). It is real. I don’t want businesses shut down; I’m not saying that is the way to go (my heart goes out to those who are financially hurting because of this vile virus, and our family is trying to do what it can to help…) I just believe that we can be a little bit wiser, more loving, and kind at this time, even if it’s inconvenient.
Again, thank you for being sincere. My heart has also been heavy lately— thinking of those whose children and families are even more at risk than my own. Jesus spent his time on this earth teaching, forgiving, and healing with a humble spirit… and we are called to live as he did. I hope we can all remember that during this difficult time when we have the opportunity to grow in our faith, and show our children how to do the same by setting an example of godly strength , perseverance, humility, peace, and love.
You nailed it, Alicia! ? Honest and inspiring, as always! ❤️
I agree! Thank you for sharing all of this. You have been such an encouragement through my homeschooling journey and I look forward to your stories but I’m glad you have your website! I wish I lived closer to become your friend! My kids, along with the two other homeschool families in our street, have been the only kids playing outside together during this entire pandemic. The other neighborhood kids want to come out to play but their parents won’t let them because of cov… ?
I just love this and am so thankful for you dear Alicia! Yes we have a great responsibility and we much encourage one another
YES. Thank you for having the courage to speak such truth, Alicia!? Hope you all have a merry Christmas.
I just deleted Facebook and Instagram. It felt like I was erasing years of my life, and I am still very surprised at the emotion I felt. But I am excited to move forward! To learn, grow and stretch myself this coming year following the path God has for me. Loved the post, thank you for your boldness!
Love this and you! You know how I feel. ?
Thank you for your courage, Alicia.
You are amazing and I couldn’t agree more. Keep fighting and speaking truth. There are so many like us, don’t be fooled into thinking we are a small minority. Let’s save our kids.
Grateful for this, Alicia. Thank you.
Love this. I’m so thankful for brave ones like you who are willing to speak up. I don’t have a following, but in my own daily life try to help others also to just think!! Merry Christmas!!!
Girl, all the AMEN. I also decided to take a social media hiatus. Didn’t delete, but don’t know when I’ll be back, and my mental health has been significantly better without all the noise and downright hate. It makes me sad, because I’ve actually made friends on ig that became real life friends, but this year…it just got overwhelming to say the least. 180 difference, and with eyes wide open i decided the answer was not to hide, but to continue to use my gifts, just in a different, more wise way for me and my family. This post was a gift, thank you for sharing.
Thank you for these words. I’m so saddened by what has happened to the children in our neighborhood. Our little cul de sac is an empty, fearful shell of what existed 12 months ago. Our children are watching us, and I pray God continues to give me the strength to discern and be skeptical.
I chose to delete my IG account two days ago and your feed is one I will miss the most. Love this post. Much respect whatever you choose and I will still be following you here!