How much is your talent worth?
My pastor, Mark Wheeler (check out his blog: On Target) preached a sermon this morning about Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents. His sermon talked about the principles from taught in the parable
- GOD gives talents (not money, but ability) to his people
- We are to faithfully be about the business of the Lord, and by doing so share together in his glory and joy.
If you are unfamiliar with the story of the talents, go read it, but here is a summary. The parable is about GOD and his people, represented by a landowner and his servants respectively. In the story Jesus says the master gives his three servants talents (money, not abilities). To one servant he gave five talents, to another he gave two, and to yet another he gave one talent. He was going away and expected his servants to invest the money so that he might see a return when he got back. In the end, two of the servants did what the master wanted; they used their talents, saw a return, and were rewarded equally by their master. One of the servants did nothing with the one talent he was given. He wasted it. His master was furious. Some might say this was not such a big deal, after all, he only received one talent from his master. However, Pastor Wheel shared a simple piece of information at the beginning of the sermon that really blew me away: He explained the value of a talent.
Confession time: I would have known this years ago if I had taken the trouble to pay attention to the equivalence table in the back of my study Bible. (Now I know why that’s important–oh well.) You see, the currency used for a day’s wages in that day was called a denarius. If you worked a full day’s labor you would typically receive a denarius. As it turns out, one talent equals 6,000 denarii! If you worked seven days a week without a break it would take you 16.5 years to earn a talent. This one talent was not so insignificant!
The abilities and talents that we each receive from GOD come with great responsibility. Some may receive more that others, but as Pastor Wheeler points out in his sermon, the faithful servants shared in the same reward, but the one who wasted his talent was rebuked. When GOD gives a gift it is never cheap. All of GOD’s gifts are great, and the talent (gift/ability) that he has given you is of great importance. Don’t waste your talents.
The Apostle peter says it like this:
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. [1Pe 4:10-11 ESV]
Are you wasting what GOD has given you, or are you being a faithful servant, a good steward of that which he has given you? You may be wondering, “But what do I do?” Take the tongue-in-cheek-yet-very-serious advice of Reggie McNeal concerning discovering GOD’s purpose for your life, using the tale of the good Samaritan: “Get off your donkey and DO SOMETHING!” 😉
There are many needs in the church, and there is one that you can meet. I don’t know what that is, but chances are you do. Just start serving. Do what you are good at and do it for the Lord. It’s GOD’s job to bless it with a return that will bring him glory. If you are faithful in using your talents for GOD you will share in that joy with GOD.