A friend of mine called me the other day talking about a story we recently heard in Church called the Parable of the Talents from Matthew in Chapter 25. She said it had really opened her eyes to what more she could be doing with her money. Below is an intro to this story.
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. Matthew 25 : 14 – 18
So basically, their Lord is leaving for an unknown period of time and from what it sounds like, if the talents are gold, he is entrusting them with a large amount of wealth. Perhaps millions of dollars in today’s terms. When the Lord returned he praised the first and second servants who doubled the talents they were given. The third servant who only returned what he was given was scolded and cast out. This sounds rather harsh doesn’t it? My friend who approached me with this story has always wondered why the third servant was treated so harshly. Isn’t it good that the third servant protected the talent? Isn’t it good that he buried it in the ground so nothing bad would happen to it? Sounds very reasonable and responsible, doesn’t it?
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 : 24 – 30
The third servant was cast out because he was afraid and he didn’t trust in the Lord. His Lord entrusted him with a great deal and he did nothing more than bury it in the ground and hide it. The other two servants were actively seeking how to grow their talents and ultimately doubled their original amount. How would you feel if you gave a million dollars to your financial advisor to manage and grow but he instead locked it away in the safe behind his desk for safekeeping? When you come to collect your money would you be pleased that it is still safe and sound or would you be angry that he did not take it and do something productive with it? I would be angry. After all, you entrusted this person to manage and grow your wealth on your behalf and he did nothing at all!
Going back to the story, the first two stewards believed in their Lord, trusted him and worked to be good stewards with the talents he entrusted them with. They were praised for their good stewardship. Everything we have belongs to God and I always wonder if I am doing the best with the resources I have been given. As Christians we have something even more valuable that we are expected to manage and grow and that is the Word of God. The Word of God is the most valuable resource of all. So take your money, grow it, make friends, and then share the Word of God with those friends!