Week 7: Don't Waste Your Life
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, 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. 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.’ Matthew 25
This parable is referred to as the Parable of the Talents. A Talent in the first century was a measure of money. It was the equivalent of 20 years’ wages, a very significant amount of money. In today’s terms that would roughly be $1 million dollars.
The parable is one of three parables that Jesus shares in succession to answer a question found in the beginning of Matthew 24. The question is basically asking what the end of the world is going to be like and how should we prepare? A part of Jesus’ answer to that question is this parable - - in essence he says don’t waste your life.
The end of the world and of my coming will be like a manager that entrusts His property with His servants. First lesson: everything we have is a blood-bought gift of grace from our Savior and Creator. That means that everything you have: every dollar, every relationship, every opportunity, everything is HIS. And by His grace He has allowed us to steward or manage it for a time.
Three men are given different talents. It may not be fair but fairness is not a biblical value. We don’t want fair. We want grace, trust me. The man with the five talents does with the money what the master would have done with the money. This is evidence that this man KNEW the master and His will.
The man with the two talents did the same thing. He risked what the master had given him for the sake of the master. Again, evidence that he KNEW the master and His will. I must point out that the two talent man wasted no time comparing his situation to those around him.
Comparison is always a lose-lose proposition. When we compare, we compare what we know about ourselves to what we don’t know about others. We compare others’ highlight reel to our B-roll. The reason that comparison is a lose-lose proposition is because it always leads to a bad outcome. Comparison leads to either pride that your’e better than or condemnation that you’ll never measure up. Neither of these lies are the language of your Heavenly Father.
Comparison is really an affront against God. When we compare, we are essentially saying, “God, you got it wrong. What you have here was really mine.” Comparison will stunt your ability to deepen YOUR relationship with Jesus Christ.
The one talent man gets busy. He hides his talent because he was paralyzed by fear. Now when the master returns, he holds all of his stewards or managers to account in regards to what he had trusted them with. Let that settle in on you for a minute. There will be a day where you and I will be held to account for EVERYTHING God has entrusted to us.
The five and two talent men hear the same evaluation from the master, “Well done good and faithful servant…” God’s judgment is not on our fruitfulness but our faithfulness (which is in response to the faith He gives us).
This is good news. The man with one talent hears that he is a “wicked and slothful servant.” Why? He seems to be very busy with hiding and retrieving the money entrusted to him. Most people are not slothfully lazy but selectively lazy. Many of us are tempted to get really busy with the comfortable so as to avoid the faithful. We find out from the one talent man that he was led by fear and not faith. His actions were evidence that he didn’t trust that master or his will. He only knew about him.
Did you realize God Almighty has given you a sum of talents? It includes financial resources and relationships and skills and abilities and opportunities and ideas and the list goes on. My question is, what are you doing with the talents God has given to you? Do you think God gave you all that you have for you? Is there a talent (an ability, a resource, an opportunity) that you, out of fear, have dug a hole and hidden it in? If so, now is the time to go and dig it up and offer it to the Lord for His Glory and your Joy.
Risking or using your talents for the Lord will require FAITH and TRUST. Continuously putting your FAITH in God is the essence of deepening your relationship with Him.