What better time to talk about gifts and talents than the season that defines gift giving? During this season, many gifts are given and usually the one expectation we have is it will be appreciated.
The parable of the talent looks at the concept of giving a gift and it implications in the Kingdom of God (Matt 5:14-30). Jesus tells the story of the rich ruler who was going on a long journey. He called three of his servants to leave some of his wealth to them. He gave one five talents, another two and to the final servant one. These talents were actually weights of measurement of gold or silver.
“A Greek talent weighed about sixty pounds; a Roman talent about seventy; a Babylonian talent slightly less than seventy. these would have been talents of gold or silver, so a talent was no small sum. even a single talent would be an immense fortune” Parables, John Macarthur.
Coincidentally, the word ‘talent’ we use today to mean one’s ability, is derived from this word.
Each servant received their share with the intention that they would be good stewards of this gift. Wise use of the talent given meant they would multiply it.
The first two servants invested and doubled the amount given to them. The third servant hid his talent because he misinterpreted the masters character. He characterized the master as a hard man, reaping where he did not sew and so he did nothing with what the master had given him.
In reality he was actually lazy and did not want to put in the effort required to bring a profit to what he had be given. Instead of putting it to work he sought to put the blame the master.
Here is what John MacArthur says in his book Parables, “notice how the unfaithful servant attempted to deflect the judgment he deserved by claiming that he was paralyzed with terror because the master’s own character and reputation revealed him to be a ruthless, demanding, and unethical man, reaping profits from the labors of others (Matt. 25:24–25). He says further, “It was a classic case of blame shifting and an ungodly slander against the kindness of the master. None of it was true”
Sometimes we are exactly like this servant. We use every excuse imaginable to get out of doing the tasks we know we need to do. Fear and lack of resources are two of the most common barriers we wrestle with. In spite of this, God expects us to be good stewards of the gifts and talents he has given us.
If you hesitate to use your gifts and talents for God consider this,
He gave them to you to serve the world
Now to each one of us grace has been given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. This is why it says: “When He ascended on high, He led captives away, and gave gifts to men. (Ephesians 4:7-8). Not only do we receive our gifts from God but we are expected to put them to good use.
Peter tells us,”Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). In obedience to God we do our best to impact the world around us with the gifts and talents he has given us. Do not hide what you have been given, use it to make your mark in your corner of the world.
You are serving God when you use your gifts and talents
We get many diverse gifts from our creator. He bestows on each of us unique abilities that we can use to serve him. We are to be his hands and feet on the earth with our different gifts and talents.
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
~ Teresa of Ávila
More Blessed to give
We stand to receive more blessing as we use what God has given us to bless others. Paul reminds us “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) . Using our gifts and talents for others is an act of giving and serving God.
Again we see the servants who were good stewards of the talents given receiving more when the master returned (Matthew 25: 19-23). Ultimately our reason for using our gifts and talents should be because our desire is to please the master and not for what we gain. As we seek first the kingdom of God all else is given to us.
Gods expects you to multiply your gifts and talents
We see the servants being rewarded with a double portion when the master returned and saw that they had multiplied what he gave them. They got their reward because they were good stewards of their given treasure. The same applies to us today. Lack of use of our gifts and talents benefits no one.
Excelling in what he has given us is the expectation. We are free to multiply our gifts and talents. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)
Friends, I encourage you to be good stewards of the gifts and talents God has given you. Maximize them and give others a chance to see Jesus through you.