Managing His Stuff, His Way - The Story of the Talents
In Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus told the story of the
Talents. In this story, the master entrusts different amounts of wealth to three servants. To one servant, he places five talents of
money in his care, to another, two talents, and to another, one talent. For context, one talent was 75 pounds of gold or silver and would have been worth around 10-20 years of wages. So each of these servants was entrusted a large amount of funds. This is certainly consistent
with what I've seen in life as different people are entrusted with different amounts of wealth and responsibliity.
When the master came back, he found that the servants with five and two
talents had each doubled the master's funds. In contrast, the servant with one talent had buried
it, making no effort to put his master’s money to work, and coming up with a bad excuse to boot!
It’s interesting to note that the praise God gave the servant who had five
talents and earned five more was identical to the praise that he gave to the
servant who had two talents and earned two more. That praise was, “Well done,
good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put
you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew
25: 21, 23).
As for the servant who was entrusted with one talent, he was lazy,
wicked, and unfaithful to God. In short, he was not a good manager. Perhaps shockingly, he was punished severely for this poor managment and unfaithfulness.
Matthew 25:28-29 state, “Take the talent from him
and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be
given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he
has will be taken from him."
It’s important to understand what this means. The words “for everyone
who has will be given more” means that everyone who has been a
faithful manager, God will entrust with more. There is a compounding effect in play. On the other hand, those have been
unfaithful in their management of God's resources will lose even what they have been
entrusted with. The servants who were entrusted with five talents and two
talents demonstrated faithfulness to God and wise management, and thus God entrusted them with more.
However, the third servant was not faithful, and therefore even that one talent
was taken away from him.
We can say we are managing well for God when we:
(1) acknowledge in mind and
heart that God owns everything - a critical first step
(2) act accordingly - that is, learn and
implement God’s principles in managing what God
has entrusted us, using our time, talent and treasure in accordance with
God’s will, not our own will