“For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one — to each according to his own ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. In the same way the man with two earned two more. But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. Look, I’ve earned five more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy! ’ “Then the man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. Look, I’ve earned two more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy! ’ “Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Look, you have what is yours.’ “But his master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy slave! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, then you should have deposited my money with the bankers. And when I returned I would have received my money back with interest.
Matthew 25:14-27 HCSB
Reading part of this passage this morning I was struck by the fact that all three of the servants were given a measure of talents as the master left. The first servant invested his talents and gained five more. The second servant, took his two talents and earned two more. The third servant, kept what He had been given, but buried it for safe keeping until the master returned. When he returned, he got all of that back from the servants.
None of them lost what was given to them, each returned all that they were given. None of them squandered away what had been entrusted to them; the servants were not wasteful. They were not given instructions of what to do, so there was no disobedience. Yet two were praised, and one rebuked. It was not the “all “that the master was looking for, he was looking for the more.
This is a parable about what the kingdom of God is like. So the question I find myself being asked is “Am I giving God my all, or am I giving Him my more?”. He is the One that blessed me with every gift, talent and resource I have. And while I would love to say I give Him my all, I know there are areas that He is still working. Areas that need surrender and submission. There have been times in my life that I have invested those talents, gifts and abilities for God’s Kingdom. Times that I used them to earn more to give to the Kingdom. And there have been times where I have selfishly done little with what He has entrusted to my care.
While I can admit to my own fallen nature, as I read this passage I found myself asking “What is my more? What does that look like in my life? What am I earning or investing in that is for God’s Kingdom?”
I have been pondering it for a few hours. I am not sure I really have the answer. I have spent much of my life in service to others – as a career and volunteering. Helping others and pointing others to the needed resources has always been my nature.
For all but about sixteen years of my life, pointing others to Christ has been an important part of my life. I have served in Children’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Praise and Worship teams, led Bible Studies and small groups. I have even been blessed to led many in the sinner’s prayer of repentance and acceptance of Christ as their Savior. But is helping others and pointing others to Christ enough more for what He has given me?
What can I do to continue working to give Him my all, but also honor Him with my more? What am I doing daily that adds to His Kingdom? God gave me all. What matters is what I do with what was given, that I faithfully steward what He has given, faithfully adding to what He has entrusted for His glory and honor.
A few other things stuck out to me in this passage. The gifts, abilities and talents God gave to each of us, was given knowing that one day Christ would return for His Church. They are not for our own benefit and can’t be compared to what someone else has been given.
As I was driving back from my daughter’s house a few weeks ago we were on a small rural highway that was scattered with homes of every size. We didn’t pass subdivisions like I am used to seeing, just sporadic homes for miles. Some were trailers, doublewides, little country farm homes, farms, fancy homes with pools. As I thought about the variety of homes, I realized at some point each of these home owners were excited about their home purchase. They were filled with pride in their new home, regardless of the home next to them.
That is how we should be with everything God places in our hands. We should be excited to display the gifts, talents and abilities God has placed within us to others. They are unique gifts, talents and abilities for us to use and increase. God is looking to see what we would do with that He has entrusted to us, otherwise He could take us out of this world when we get saved.
Another thing was that the servant that buried the talent brought back all that he had been given. He validated his actions that he was protecting what he had been given because he knew what the master was like. I realize it is often like me to make a bad choice and then blame God for it like I was trying to please Him with my behavior. I give it all back to Him like it is a sacrifice even though I had done nothing with it. I act like I am protecting what He has entrusted to me, but I am really just wasting it.
I also realized that the wasted talents means lost potential for the Kingdom. If I’m not willing to do my part, God has to have someone else who will pick up the slack. There is sometimes the feelings I can’t, but with God all things are possible. He gives me the initial talents, abilities and gifts, I have to use them for His kingdom purpose. If I don’t I will be cast out and He will give them to someone else.
It is clear from this scripture passage that God wants all and more from His people. We may not feel like we have been given much, but we can always invest what little we have. We can give Him more in prayer, in worship, in studying His Word. Those are “little places” there He can make a big difference. We can deposit our best with out family, friends, and career and let God grow there. We may not all be entrepreneurs, but we can be careful where we deposit what has been given to us, where we invest our time and resources and what we earn for His Kingdom. We need to be proud of the gifts and abilities God has given us, because they bring Him glory. It is not about who has the most, but about not wasting what we have been given.