Saturday 17 November 2018

What did you do with your talents?

We are going to look at the parable of the talents.

"Matthew 25:14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] 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.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the 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. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’"

The basic point of this parable is our servitude to Jesus. Believers of different backgrounds, rich or poor with whatever resources they have are to live holy and obedient lives consecrated to Christ. It cuts through the idea that a lack of resources means you cannot do much.

Think about it. If one is a billionaire, his or her resources can be used to help many individuals across the world, if there is a Christian billionaire. Someone of a moderate income can do what they can in their local area and possibly outside and finally, those of low income can help support their families (if possible) through their house keeping. No limit is placed on gospel preaching through your income and also, your testimony at work, your home, the club you go to (if there is one) etc., while you may not necessarily talk about God, you live your life in such a way that the individual glorifies God and some sees you as reliable and trustworthy.

It matters not to God what you have, it's how you use the resources  or talents (as in things you can do) given to you and there is no excuse for laziness and slackness.

It also makes me think it is the little things that matter as well as the big which is nothing. For example, dusting your workplace to keep it clean is just as important as keeping the stock up and making a huge profit. The man who buried his talent could have used it to get a second talent or even go the extra mile. The master would have been pleased with being given two talents or even if the man went multiple times to get more talents. Imagine the result if he had ten talents from his efforts as opposed to the one which he hid away. It cuts through the concept of being work-shy.

Rebekah Merkle's application in her book "Eve in Exile" is sure make to make housewives appreciate and have a higher view of their role as keepers of the home (Titus 2:5), especially the neglect from the church to teach it and also the foul stench that so plagues being a house wife thanks to feminism creeping into the church and the church doing nothing about it. This isn’t the whole quotation but this snippet should be of interest.

"We twenty first century American women have been materially blessed beyond our wildest dreams of most women throught out all of history, we have been given the most talents and God has given us the most blessings in order that we may turn a profit on them. If we bury the talents and just float, we know what God says to us at the end of the day "You wicked and slothful servant!" We need to look around at what God has given us and then figure our how to turn a profit on it. If we can do that, we can look forward to a "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I'll set you over much. Enter the joy of your master." So why should we run when we don't have to? Because that's what God made us to do. A Eric Liddel so eloquently says in Chariots of Fire, "God made me run fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure."" Eve in Exile, Rebekah Merkle, pg 149.

There is appreciation of little tasks, no matter how difficult it may be, they are much greater than we realise. Even the smallest gesture of service to other people can be an acceptable sacrifice, paying them a visit in person just for a chat, especially when they have had an off day or in a state of misery, even just a simple hello is a good place to start.

The point is, Christian service is still to be given, we have hard work to do, including that of witnessing to others where we are. It's one thing to have a hobby at the end of the day or watching the television for the glory of Christ, but it's quite another to let those things run your whole life. The man with one talent squandered what he had and lost out on the chance of remaining in his master's house.

Answering Judaism

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