Sat, September 1, 2018 - You Are a Talent
Jesus told his disciples this parable: "A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money.
After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.' Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.' His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"
Talents. Today's parable is once more easy to understand. Here is a topic which closely unites what we do in our life with our relationship to God. The more difficult thing is to apply this to one's own life. What does it mean to “trade” with our talents, to multiply them? Maybe it's a good idea to prayerfully ask yourself that question regarding a specific talent you have received.
Of course, a generic answer is simple enough: make the best of my talent, put it into the service for a good, glorify God through it. But what does Jesus want to teach me here? Let's zoom in some more into all that the parable implies.
A first aspect is probably to acknowledge where the talents come from. Actually, it is His “money,” and you are supposed to administer it as best as you can. That specific talent of yours: God deliberately placed that into your hands.
Discover the power within it. While it is true that we receive our talents, the most important ones of them aren't just “added” decoratively to your personality, your CV, your appearance. They are part of you, part of how God created you. You yourself are your main main talent. Hence, their multiplication isn't simply an external worth enhancement, but a fulfilment of your very self. We are talking about real treasures here; about the infinite value of your person.
Move out of your comfort zone. Two servants were ready to go and take the risk of trading with their money. For some reason, we sometimes feel uncertain about our talents. We fear failure, we fear to ridicule ourselves, we feel to suffer other's envy. That circles back to the first aspect: if you remember that you have received it, you shouldn't become neither proud nor uneasy about it. You know that you will be asked to give it back one day. The parable tells how the third servant was reluctant to take a risk. Most importantly, it tells us why: “Master, I knew you were a demanding person [...], so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.”
Jesus, it makes no sense to be afraid of You. You didn't give me my talents in order to rebuke me for trying to use them. If anything, I should be afraid of myself, of abusing the treasures you gave me. Today I thank You for that and for how You made me. I once more acknowledge that all my goods stem from You. With Your grace, I embrace my life and renew my desire to live up to my Christian vocation: To be a light in this world, a light of happiness, holiness, wholesomeness.