This week I have been contemplating a Scripture that I have to admit has always bothered me. It’s the Scripture in Matthew 25:14-30 about the servants and the talents. It’s not that I couldn’t agree with the fact that those who invested the talents given to them by their master earned more and were subsequently blessed with extra by the master when he returned to see the good job they had done. What has always upset me is that the servant who earned no return on his one talent was banished into utter darkness. This servant knew his master to be harsh and was fearful of losing it all, so he took the cautious, seemingly “risk free” road and hid his one talent in the ground in order to return it safely to his master.
Certainly, this parable is speaking to us about the importance of wise stewardship with our finances, but it also speaks to good stewardship with the gifts and talents God has given us, and more importantly, I believe it speaks to our responsibility to take ownership of the things that we encounter in our own lives. The parable shows us the importance of stepping out in faith, not blaming others, and not making excuses when things go wrong. It speaks to us about not allowing our fear to overcome our faith. You see, the servant who only received one talent knew his master to be cruel, reaping where he did not sow and gathering where he had not sown seed. This may have been a fact, but we are often faced with unfavorable facts in life. That, however, does not give us an excuse to quit, or throw in the towel, wallow in self-pity, or blame those harsh realities for our situations. That does us no good, and it does the world around us no good. When we respond to life’s difficulties in those negative, often self-destructive ways, we are really telling God that we don’t believe in His ability to help us or show us the way out, our way to freedom and success. We are really saying that we don’t believe in God’s Word.
Scripture tells us to look at the things unseen because the things of this world are temporal (2 Cor. 4:18). You may be facing some difficult circumstances in life, but let me assure you, God has given you every ability and talent you will ever need to overcome life’s challenges. Dig deep. Reach high. Be brave. Look for the supernatural. Believe in who God made you. God has never made junk. He has never created an incapable person. He tells us in His Word that He will always show us the way out of every temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). That would include the temptation to agree with failure in our own lives. You have to desire to fail and agree to fail in order to do so. God does not categorize our mistakes as failures; only we can do that. God turns our so-called “failures” into launch pads if we allow Him to do so.
So, when the servant with only one talent squandered his talent and hid it in the ground, never to put forth the seed God had planted within it, he was operating in fear. He was not trusting God to help him use what he had. God tells us in His Word he will give us wisdom if we only ask (James 1:5). Rather than walk in fear, the one-talent servant could have asked God to give him wisdom and revelation to prosper, to use his talent to increase and grow and bless others. The talent is not only money, but all the gifts God has invested in each one of us. They are not to be hidden. Rather, we all have a responsibility to develop and share and bless and increase the world around us. Seedtime and harvest is what it’s all about in every area of our lives. God has given us much, and more will be given when we water and grow our talents for God. That’s a guarantee. God did not plant something in you in order to watch it get buried in the soil of fear and doubt and die and unfruitful death. Do you notice what God tells us will happen when we do develop and use our talents for His Kingdom? He says we will “enter into the joy of [our] Lord (Mt. 25:21, 23).” Wow! I’ll take that! When we step out of fear, we walk into His joy!
You have much to offer, and faith in God to help you prosper His talents in you will bless you and those around you.
Go forth and multiply (according to the Scripture) all He has placed in you,
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this: Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption. I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me. Amen.