How do we use our Talents for the Better?
In Matthew 25:14-30 – The parable of the talents is about a man going on a journey and entrusting his property and business to his servants. We see him give different amounts to each of three servants.
The parable of the talents has two significant sections. First it discusses the giving of the talents and how they are to be employed, and second what will occur on the return of the Lord. In this case a talent was a significant sum of money. They were to trade with these talents for the benefit of their master. Their work was to be in the employment of their master by using the talents he had given them so they would increase the wealth and size of the masters business.
This Parable of the Talents provides a helpful framework for thinking about work, success, and wealth.
The talents described could be looked in different ways; skills and abilities given to all of mankind. Each one of us is given a life and certain abilities. How we choose to use our life, skills & abilities will determine our outcome in relation to the inheritance of the kingdom of God.
What learnings can we pick from this Parable?
Success comes out of our efforts & drive.
From the story of creation we see the initial purpose of God when creating Adam & Eve was to work and take care of the Garden of Eden. As individuals in with different skills and abilities we were made to put the abilities and skills to work and accomplish the mission God expects us to here on earth. The Parable of the Talents teaches us that we are supposed to invest in our given skills & abilities and grow them further, teach others and invest in them too while we await the return of Jesus.
Key take out: Even in our daily lives, work, business, we are to use our different talents to glorify help others, grow others, support others, serve the common good, and further God’s kingdom. Spiritual success is working diligently in the here and now using all the talents we have been given to produce the return expected.
We have everything we need, to do what are supposed to do.
Our talents are not quantifiable by money in today’s world, our abilities and skills are valuable beyond monetary value. Many a time that we are tempted to feel sorry for the friends, colleagues, or even family members who we feel are less talented, skilled or have unmatched abilities than ours, but in reality, they have as much talents given to them than we think off but have buried them in their back yard – just like the servant who received one talent; He was given more than enough to meet the master’s expectations.
Key Take out: Leaders, managers, CEOs etc. expect their teams to do more in growing their companies’ revenues year on year than maintaining their status quo. Each department, business areas are usually given budgetary allocations each year to deliver on intended growth. So God also expects us to generate a return by using our talents towards productive ends. The servants were given enough to produce more – it is the same with the gifts God has given us.
We are all different & not equal.
The master gave to each servant talents, “…each according to his ability.” The master understood that the one-talent servant was not capable of producing as much as the five-talent servant.
This is true from our own everyday life experiences yet in circumstances where this happens we are always quick to protest this as unfair. Diversity is woven into the fabric of creation. The contract in equality is also comes from the fact that it takes just as much work for the five-talent servant to produce five more talents as it does the two-talent servant to produce two more talents.
Key Take Out: Even though we’re not created equal in regard to the talents we’re given, we have equal opportunity & efforts to utilize our chunk of talents and grow them further. This is why the reward given by the master is the same. The master measures success by degrees of effort, as should we.
We will be held accountable.
The Parable of the Talents is about how we use our work to fulfill our earthly callings. It is about life stewardship. The unfaithful steward in this parable wasted an opportunity. As a result, he was judged wicked and lazy.
Key Take Out: We are responsible for what we do with what we have been given, and one day we will be held responsible.
Finally – We work not for our own selfish purposes:
When the Lord says, “…to those who have not, even what they have will be taken away…” I believe he is talking about their life.
The money that is given to the servants is not their own. The money they earn with the capital is not theirs to keep. The servants are only stewards of the master’s investment, and it is the quality of their stewardship that the master seeks to measure.
We should maximize the use of our talents not for our own selfish purposes, but to honor God. Our work will be difficult but we should feel satisfaction and joy from doing our best with what God has given us in the place where his providence puts us, seeking to succeed in order to honor him.