In my Bible, Matthew 25:14-30 is titled “Jesus Tells the Parable of the Loaned Money.” Jesus describes the master who leaves three of his servants money and is pleased when he returns and two of them have doubled their money but angry with the one who simply buried it in the ground and returned the same amount he had been given. He says to the servants who doubled their money, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness” (v.23) Obviously this parable is about using the money that God has blessed us with wisely and to grow His kingdom. I think it’s interesting, though, that the master gave his servants “talents.” In a Biblical terms dictionary, I learned that a talent was a piece of silver or sometimes gold; a measurement of money. However, when I read this parable I couldn’t help but think that the modern definition of talent (a natural aptitude or skill) could also apply. Like the master giving the servants talents, the Lord has blessed us each with talents. We can either use our talents (like the two servants doubling their money) to further the kingdom of God, or we can hide them away like a coin in the ground. Jesus is telling us here not to hide or waist our talents. Sure, it’s the safest thing to do. If we don’t let others know that we have a knack for organizing events, praising the Lord with our voice in singing, or working with children, then no one will ask us to use those talents to serve. We’ll keep our schedules the same, it won’t require any extra work. If we share our talents with others, and they find out that God has blessed us, we may be asked to use them. Ugh! That’s far too much work, time, energy. It’s so much less risky to bury our talents. God wants risky. He says that if we are faithful with a few things, he will entrust us with many. We can share in his happiness when our talents have been used for his purposes. The common understanding of this parable is true: we should be wise with the money and resources with which God has blessed us. But we also need to be wise with the talents he has given us. When he designed you, he specifically placed within you talents, and he wants you to use those talents for His glory. He wants to say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Lord, help me not to bury the talents you have given me. Instead, Father, please use them to glorify your kingdom. If sharing these talents means taking a risk, give me the courage to take that risk knowing that, if it is your will, you will turn the risk into blessings.