I’ve been thinking about my talents and dreams for the future a lot lately and how perhaps I am guilty of believing I cannot get more. I know I am capable of say a better job, or I am deserving of a great relationship, and yet if I take an honest look at things that I have accepted into my life–it’s probably pathetic in the realm of what God has planned for me.
I was thinking about this teaching in Matthew 25 (ESV). <—Let’s give it up for the English Standard Version. Pretty sure I’ve never read that version in my life. But more to the point:
The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[c] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[d] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[e] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter intothe joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘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.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 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. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
Now I know this is a story about investments but because I like symbolism and was an English Major (yay student loans) I decided to look into this with a different lens. What if Jesus is the man. What if on our journey to find purpose and calling and our reason to be here on Earth specifically as an individual Jesus poured into us specific talents some of us are beautiful singers, others are skilled laborers, yet others are very good with people and can fill them with encouragement and life. All of our talents are different. Some appear to have more talents, some are just really good at one thing, but each of us have been given a certain kind of and a specific amount of talents. And yet everyone does different things with them. Some are lucky to use them in a job and get paid for it, others do it as a hobby or to relieve stress and don’t think too much about it, others like me sometimes squelch that talent out completely by burying it in the ground so to speak. If you are faithful with the little skills and talents Jesus has given you, we see in the story that it is multiplied and blessed. However the one who did nothing with it out of fear, get’s nothing. If anything the Master is displeased because you were not a good steward of the investment you were entrusted with. Now I don’t think Jesus is exactly like this man in the sense that he is slow to anger and quick to forgive and full of love and good desires for us here on Earth, but I think the sentiment is valid. Why are you so fearful? Why are you holding back the wonderful gifts you were given?
I take this as a challenge to continue to work on my gifts even though I don’t know what they will be used for. I continue to volunteer my talents at my church because my firstfruits and best skills should be given to him before anything else and that doesn’t always have to be money but time, and skills, and yourself. Once you sow those things into His House and for His name “then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine (Proverbs 3). Then the blessings and overflow of those small talents will be multiplied.