Are we multiplying the faith, spiritual gifts, personal talents and love we have received from God?
Jesus deals with this question through a parable reported in both the gospels of Matthew and Luke. (Mt. 25:14-30; Lk. 19:12-27) In each of these parables, a man goes on a journey and entrusts various sums of money to his servants. In Matthew’s account, two of the servants invest the money and double what was given to them. A third servant buried what was given to him.
When the master returned he sought an accounting from his servants. For the two servants who doubled what was given to them, the master said, “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.”
To the third servant who buried the talent given him out of fear of his master, the master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?” Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.”
In the harshest of all of Jesus’ responses to sin and wrongdoing, he has the master saying, “Take the talent from him and give to the one who has ten talents. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
This is a sobering message. We have a responsibility to utilize the talents, gifts and grace that God offers us. If we do, we have the opportunity to share in God’s joy and happiness. Failure to do so can result in them being taken away and our being separated from God.
God created us in his image and likeness, gave us varied gifts and talents, and assigned us the responsibility to take care of his creation. He became one of us in the person of Jesus and delegated to us the additional task to make disciples of all nations, giving us the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit to accomplish the task.
In all walks of life, whether athletics, schoolwork, employment, providing for our families and raising our children, the common expectation is that we should be diligent in doing the best we can. God’s expectation is no less when it comes to his call for us to bring his presence to the people and circumstances of our lives through our example and word.
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:10) May our prayer be to never experience the scarcity of God’s presence, as we multiply his love, blessings and grace.