“Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.’” (Matthew 25:24-25)
The Master gave five talents (a talent was worth more than fifteen years’ wages for a laborer) to one slave, and he invested it and made five more. The Master gave two talents to another, and he, like the first, doubled the money. The Master gave one talent to yet another slave, and instead of investing the money, he buried it out of fear and made nothing.
Have we ever buried the talents—that is, our abilities and gifts—we received from the Lord? Ever denied them? Forgotten them? Wasted them?
I have. I suspect I’m not alone.
There are many reasons why we bury, hide, deny, or waste the Lord’s gifts. Like the third slave, we can do so because we’re afraid. We can also do so because we are tired or burned out. Sometimes we simply deny our gifts because we believe we have nothing to offer—which is never the case.
If you, like me, have buried some gifts the Lord has given to you, please don’t scold or shame yourself. Instead, I encourage you to find your gifts, claim your gifts, and use and share your gifts.
The Lord gives us gifts to make this world a better, fairer, and more just place. So, please stop denying your mind and what you know; your heart and what you feel; your eyes and what you see; your experience and what you have learned; your conscience and what you believe to be true.
When the Master came back and learned that the first two slaves had invested their talents and made more, the Master said, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.”
When we use and invest the talents the Lord has given to us, we can joyfully anticipate the Lord saying the same.
- Have you ever buried or neglected a gift, ability, or hope that God has given to you? If so, how come?
- If indeed you have buried or neglected a gift, ability, or hope that God has given to you, what would it take for you to unbury it, reclaim it, and put it to use?
- If you thought every day about making a difference in the world and giving joy to God by using the abilities God has given to you, how would your thinking, acting, speaking, giving, and working change?