I don’t know where to start this morning. There are so many ideas rustling around in my mind. It all started as I read the parable of the talents. I confess I didn’t have warm fuzzy feelings at the first reading. I’ve read this passage many times over the years. Each time was yielding different thoughts and feelings.
At first reading today, It seemed a little harsh to me. I start asking myself, “Maybe I’m the servant that went and buried the treasure.” Have you ever felt that way? I then read an article called Risky with love: Rethinking the Parable of the Talents. It’s a good article, and I recommend you check it out.
As I read the article, it resurfaced a thought I been pondering for a while. In essence, what I was thinking about was how God gives to all things.
The Key To The Parable
So perhaps the key to this parable is the love of God. The master did not go to the servants and freely give them talents to sit back and wait to see who would blow it.
If you read the scriptures long enough, you start to pick up on a few ideas. One, God hates sin because it destroys people. But two and most importantly, He is love. The scriptures tell us that God gives to the good and evil. The heart behind all humanity is love.
If you hold this parable in light of other scriptures, you can glean some beautiful treasures. God is not waiting to see if we are the unprofitable servant. It’s also not comparing the kingdom to a high impact sales organization. I think our understanding of scriptures becomes tainted by the methods and procedures of the world we live in. You have to hold up this parable in light of the other scriptures.
The first thing to remember is that God gives good gifts. James writes, “every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” The second is that He loves you. You can rest in that. Third, as we dig into a few other scriptures, we will start to see a theme arise.
What If We Stopped Being So Protective Of Our Stuff
What if we weren’t so protective about our stuff and trusted God when we put what we have out there? How many times have I hesitated or held back because I didn’t trust someone? If we shift our thinking from actions based on trusting someone else to our trust in God, we are freer to put our talents out there. God gave you things because He loves you. He provided for you to enjoy and also share. We read about sharing in the parable of the talents. Who shared and who withheld?
The sharing part is the hard part. However, if we trust that God’s resources are unlimited and He is good, we discover that there is more where that has come from.
What If It’s A Bad Investment
We fear that we won’t get back what we’ve given. Perhaps we worry about getting used and taken advantage of. However, we don’t have to worry about that because God gives and that He is our source.
Jesus again sheds even more light on this, and it begs to ask the question, how secure am I in the Love of God? How about you? Jesus teaches us to “love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” Notice our actions are not based on trust in the one who the output is to but in God.
Trusting Jesus Is The Heart Of Our Actions
Trusting Him is the heart of Jesus. The focus is not on a return on investment from the current action but an outflow of the good gifts we have been given. The return on investment is not what we get back from who we invested in, but the reward comes from God Himself as we see in the parable. Knowing this is liberating.
To take the point event further Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Years ago, a friend sharing a proverb with me that has become one of my favorites. The verse is, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will be watered himself.” Proverbs 11:25
Are we starting to see the theme? We love Him and trust Him because He first loved us, and in return, we are free to love others the same way He loves us. He deposits good things into our life, and we are open to deposit what we have been given into someone else, knowing that the source of our provision is based in heaven and not upon waiting for a return from the receiver of our talent.
Gleaning From My Journal
Looking through my journal, I see pages of ideas. I wrote down a question recently, “What is the voice God has given me?” These questions leave me wondering what my calling and talents are. It’s easy to start looking for some future event where everything comes together, and then I’ll experience the ultimate joy and feel complete. That is misleading.
Our purpose is not floating out in the future waiting for us. Our purpose is right where we are today. God has provided for today and that is to be used and shared with others.
God has invested talents in you today. God has put people in your life today (the ones you like and ones that maybe challenge your peace). God has given you things you can do today. What are you doing with the little things you have today? Those are the talents God has put in you and I’m talking big and small.
Paul says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
As you clean the house, spend time with your family, go to work, hang with friends, or wherever you find in your hand today, may you do it all as though you were doing it unto Him. Do you trust Him enough to give away what you have? You can. And remember, there is more where all this came from.