This is the first installment under the category of Encouragement. It would be better described under the guise of exhortation, because in this particular instance the Word is so emphatic. The text is Matt. 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents.
There are a number of reasons I love this text. I’ve always found it interesting that the word “talent” is the way this form of exchange translates. It is indeed talking about money, but if you think in terms of possessions or resources it really drives the point home. Especially, to those of us that are delusional enough to think we actually possess talent.
Point one: Talents are given to whomever the master pleases. In vs.14 it says the master, “entrusted his property to them.” They become ours in that we are stewards of them, nothing more, nothing less. That has been a hard one for me to grasp. I think our human tendency is to take hold of things, especially ones we work hard for, and excuse God from the picture. In most cases I don’t believe it’s intentional, but as we develop and grow, pride can start to seed in our hearts. I know... I’ve done it! I start to think far more of myself than is true. When that seed starts to take root, it comes up poison ivy. (That’s a whole other topic for another time.) It’s not mine... it’s His! It’s not yours either! (Sorry)
Point two: The Master determines the amount of talents given. The truth stings sometimes. My prideful self-perception might be that I’m a 5-talent dude. Reality points to the fact that I’m really a one or two. Reality shouldn’t stop me from investing though! Whatever amount I’m given, my part of the deal is investment. In a sense, I’m a broker. The beautiful thing is, I can’t lose on this investment. It’s the intent of my actions that counts. If the master has entrusted me with these talents, my job is to leverage them in the best way I see fit. I don’t necessarily have to be clever, just faithful. Remember, they’re His first. If I am faithful, how could my investment fail? In the first two cases, both servants doubled the talents they were given. That’s a 100% return! 100%! Did you catch that? How many investments do you know of where the return is 100%? The power of what we’re given to invest has the ability to grow far beyond our wildest imagination! As the broker, our job is to leverage our talents. He’ll supply the return on the investment.
Point three: Use ‘em or lose ‘em! It’s sad to come across someone who thinks that they have nothing to invest. Or because they are given a proportionately smaller amount of talents, are paralyzed by the fear of losing it all. Status quo is not acceptable! The One, who created you in His image, has imprinted your DNA with incredible potential to succeed in this type of investing. Faithfulness is the key!
No doubt, this particular text will be the source of many future posts. The summary for today is: if you can fog a mirror, you are a “talent” broker. You have a responsibility to leverage whatever God gives you, (that would be everything by the way) to bring Him glory. So, start investing, the return is unbelievable!