The parable of the talents from Matthew 25: 14-30, is one of the best pieces of biblical literature that digs deep into what stewardship is and how you should steward your money or possessions. It also shows how God will reward you for being a good manager over what he allowed you have. It is your responsibility to take care of your kids, family, parents, home, and more. But don’t forget, he has also given your dominion over your money and the things you purchase with it. You need cash for everything, so why do would we think it is okay to be frivolous with it?
For context purposes, let me break down what a talent is. A talent is a significant amount of money or a unit of value. The parable of the talents is a story about a master who left on a long journey. While he was gone, he left his servants/ employees in charge of his possessions. He expected that when he came back, they would have put good use to what he gave them.
If we put this story in layman terms: Think of the master being the manager at your place of employment, leaving to go on an extended vacation. When he leaves, he puts you in charge of the budget for the month. He would expect a completed job, and he may also expect to see a return on investment when he returns.
Let’s walk through the story together.
The manager goes on a very long journey. He calls on three of his servants to watch over his property or his possessions, and he also gave them a certain amount of talents according to their ability, which means their expertise, their level of competency/skill.
Servant #1 was given five talents according to his ability.
Servant #2 was given two talents, according to his ability.
Servant #3 was given one talent according to his ability.
Each time I read this story, I ask myself, “why did servant #3 only get one talent?” Maybe, this was a new job, and he was in training. Perhaps, he hasn’t handled other responsibilities well in his current position. We are not sure, but I believe that God sometimes wants to allow you to show him that you can be a good steward from what he gives you before he decides to provide you with more. If you can’t steward $10, how can you steward 10,000? For our protection, God will not put you in a position to fail. Therefore, he will give you just enough according to what he knows that you can handle until you show him you can handle more.
Let’s continue with the story.
After a very long time away, the manager comes back, and of course, he returns expecting an account for his possessions. As he approaches each servant, the conversation sounds a little something like this;
Servant #1: "Master, you have entrusted me with five talents. I invested the money and earned five more."
Master: "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!
Servant #2: "Master, I went to work and earned two more talents.
Master: "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!
PAUSE: The story does not necessarily get better from here.
Servent #3 Dug a hole in the ground and hid the master's money. He says, "Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back."
Wait a minute!
I am unsure if Servant #3 was not paying attention to when the Master gave him instruction lol but the scripture clearly says that he was afraid he would lose the money. The servant thought that the Master was such a harsh man. He decided to hide the talent just in case he did not do something useful with it.
The Master says "You could have at least put the money with the banker and let it collect interest. You could have put it in the bank and received an investment. You could have done something with what I gave you. Then the mastered ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more, will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Ouch! I think the servant died. Now, do you see the severity of this? I would hate for fear to keep you in captivity, keeping you from living the life of ABUNDANCE designed for you.
I will drop some final thoughts from this story next week. Until then,