“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his Lord’s money. After a long time the Lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But his Lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:14-30)
Jesus often gave people illustrations containing life lessons that could be applied to common situations in which most anyone can find themselves at any given time ….
The ‘Parable of the Talents’ is just such an illustration. A talent was the type of currency used in Jesus’ day. One talent is said to have been worth more than a thousand dollars. This particular parable describes a man who gave certain amounts of money to three of his servants with the instruction to invest it ….
I find two very interesting points in this story to ponder. First, the landowner distributed the money according to each person’s ability. He didn’t try to burden his workers with more than they were capable of handling ….
The two men to whom he gave the most money invested wisely and doubled their investments. Upon the landowner’s return, they were made full partners in the business. The second thing I realized is that the two with the most ability used it wisely and were richly rewarded. The third man — the one with the least ability — failed …..
Think about this. God didn’t ask the third man to invest five talents or even just two. He knew this man wasn’t capable of handling such a task. He gave the third servant the least amount of responsibility, and that man still failed ….
Worse, he tried to justify his failure by blaming the master! But he also said something else; and that’s the secret to understanding this story: “I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground.” (v. 25).
He didn’t waste the money, he didn’t even lose the money, but he did nothing with it. And the master responded, “You wicked, and slothful (lazy) servant!” (v. 26). The spirit of fear had caused the man to do absolutely nothing with his gift …..
Wait, let’s turn that around shall we? ….
The owner said, “Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest (v. 27). Suppose the man had gone to the bank and invested as the owner suggested. He would never have made as much profit as the other two. And that would have been all right, because all that the owner asked was for him to do what he could; what was reasonably expected of him ….
That’s one way the devil snares us. He causes us to compare ourselves with others and see how much money or talents they have. Or he whispers to us that other people are given more opportunities than we will ever have. Remember and recognize that your enemy is the accuser of the brethren. He delights in sowing seeds of discord, jealousy, envy, bitterness, and insecurities. Satan will have you comparing and questioning yourself, your gifts, your blessings, and even your very calling …..
But God doesn’t ask us to do what someone else does. He asks us to use the gifts and abilities that He has given to us. We ought never to fall into comparisons nor covet another’s ministry nor blessings because your enemy will deceive you into thinking you are somehow deficient …..
I truly believe that God has a plan for each of our lives. A life lived in complete faith and radical obedience to God’s Word causes His plan to unfold before our very eyes. Clutching what little we have in fear won’t allow us to fulfill God’s plan. In fact, this kind of mindset allows the devil to lie to us and cause us to give up on our dreams and God’s plan for our lives ….
Fear only supplies the characteristics of the idle, lazy, and wicked servant. When we listen to the devil, we soon believe we can do nothing. He’ll convince us that everything we attempt will fail. If we listen to God, we will hear the words of the Lord: “Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.” (v. 21).
In closing, it is not how much we accomplish that is important, but it’s being faithful to the ability God has given us that makes the difference. The ‘talent’ God gives you is His gift to you. What you do with His talents are your gift to Him. Seriously, what would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Let’s pray ~
Loving and caring Father, I don’t know which of those three men I’m the most like in terms of my ability; but I pray that You will make me faithful to fulfill Your plan for my life. Thank You, precious Lord, for helping me keep the enemy from stealing the little or the much that You have given me. I am grateful for every single blessing and every single struggle. Thank You for imparting Your Word unto my heart. Strengthen me that I may always be found obedient to Your calling and to share Your Word with everyone. Amen ….
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)