A parable is a story that is used to teach truth and to explain things in a way that the hearer can better understand. The Parable of the Talents is typically referred to when teaching about money. How are we using the money that God has given us? Are we investing in others based on what He’s given to us? Instead of thinking of the talents as money, I want you to consider the talents as relationships. The story is found in Matthew 25:14-30 and is as follows:
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
When this Parable of the Talents was shared, it was about a master who gave out talents, or money, to his servants. The master trusted each of them with different amounts. One man received five talents, put the talents to work, and came back with five more talents. Another man who had been given two talents by his master did the same and came back with two more talents. The third man was given one talent and he went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s talent and did nothing with it.
In this parable the master is God, and we, as believers, are the servants. Now, let’s think about the talents and relationships that Christ has put in our lives, and reflect on how we are making the most out of those relationships. Are we using them and growing them, or are we hiding them in the dirt? As believers, we should be mindful not to squander the blessings that God gives to us, or to misuse the things that He has entrusted us with.
Godly relationships are important. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” If you hide away the talents that God has given you, or neglect the relationships that He has placed in your life, then you won’t have anyone to help you during your time of need. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Isn’t that something that we all want? Someone that helps to bring out the best in us, and in return, we can empower as well?
Our church has a hash tag that speaks so much truth and that draws people in; #DoingLifeTogether. Here’s my question to you: Are you doing life together with other believers, or are you just going through the motions and attending church because you’re “supposed to?” Are you laboring with others and allowing them to sharpen you or are you fighting with others and pointing out their flaws? Don’t be the person who is pitied when they fall down, because they have no one to help them up. Don’t isolate yourself from others for fear of rejection. We all feel hesitant to open up and be vulnerable with others who may not want to do life with us, but think of the blessings and relationships that you could miss out on by hiding yourself away.
When we have godly relationships or friendships, it doesn’t just benefit ourselves, it also benefits the kingdom of God. One of my favorite passages of scripture is Colossians 3:12-13. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if anyone has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This passage can be applied to us as Christians, spouses, coworkers, friends, and fellow Church members. Verse 14 goes on to say, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” If others see us living by these verses, showing kindness, patience, and being merciful to others, forgiving them even in difficult times, we can use these as opportunities to point them to Jesus. We may be able to introduce them to The One, who is the greatest friend of all!
So, don’t hide your talents in the dirt! Get out there and share your talents. Cultivate Godly relationships and do life with others!
– Lauren Holley, MSBC Women’s Ministry Leader