Matthew 25:14-30 contains the Parable of the Talents. A talent was a measure of currency in weight, worth about 6 years of wages. In this parable, a man going on a long journey leaves his servants in charge of different amounts of money (large sums – 5 talents for one, 2 for another and 1 for the last – but even 1 talent was a substantial amount). The first two servants each took the amounts entrusted to them and worked to grow that sum. When the master returns much later, each of those servants is able to give over to his master not only the original amount left in their care, but also the same amount over again in growth from their diligent stewardship. Their loyalty and hard work is rewarded with a response of “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
The third servant, who received the least amount, had taken his sum and buried it. While he was able to return the entire amount to his master, that was not enough. The master is not happy with this. The response actually seems pretty harsh. “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.”
What does this mean? And how does it apply to us? Verse 15 says that each servant was left with a different amount, “to each according to his ability”. Let’s think of the talents (currency) as a different talent – gifts, abilities, etc. To each one of us, God has given a gift. ALL of us have one. Some of us have more, some of us have less, but we all have been given the ability to use what God has given us for his glory. Each of us according to our abilities.
What are we doing with our talents? Do we hide them away safely, maybe let them peek out a bit on Sundays at church, but never use them to grow God’s kingdom? Do we put our talents to use to love on people, to reflect grace to those in need, and to show generosity of spirit?
Reflect today on how many “talents” have been left in your care. What are you doing with them? Are you investing them to grow God’s kingdom or hiding them away?
Lord, thank you for your daily blessings and mercies. Thank you for the promise of your return. Help me to take the abilities you’ve given to me and not only to recognize what they are, but to actively pursue using them to show your love to those around me.