I’m often drawn to the parable of the Talents, as told by Jesus himself in Mathew Chapter 25. I suppose it’s because I heard a simple, yet very insightful message on it many years ago. I woke up thinking about that passage again today. I’m staying
with friends who live out the message in that passage on a daily basis. It’s so easy for us as Christians to know the Word and to know what righteous living is all about. Living it is where our faith and fervor for following Christ really shows. Perhaps this is why the world slams Christianity so much. We know all the right things to say, but more times than not, sadly our actions don’t follow our words. As we know, faith without works is dead. I don’t want a dead faith. That’s why when I see people so passionately living out God’s Word without ever looking for recognition, well, it’s inspiring. I have to ask myself, “Who have I inspired to follow Christ lately?”
Back to the story of the talents:
The man going on a journey entrusted his servants with his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. The one with five and two put their talents to work and multiplied what had been entrusted. The owner was pleased and told them both, “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.” The last servant simply buried his one talent out of fear and laziness. He was then put out into the darkness.
My friends are so inspiring because they used to be the one with one talent. However, they were not like this servant. They used every gift they had to pour into others, thereby multiplying the talents. Then God blessed them with another talent. Then another. Then another. They always gave of themselves and what little finances they had so selflessly. Many times when they really had nothing to give, but they still found ways and things to give to God. He honored them with many things because they first honored Him with only a few things. Now they only honor Him more, realizing where the gift came from.
More times than not, we get this concept backwards. When we really need something, we pray for a blessing over and over, whether its finances, a medical miracle, relational help, job security, etc. When we don’t hear from God on our timetable we begin questioning Him; wondering where He’s at. We begin quoting every scripture there is about prosperity, healing, etc. We wonder where God is, yet we’ve spent the majority of our time with our faith buried in the sand, like the servant with one talent. But when we need God to do something for us, we go get our shovels to dig up our faith, dust it off, and put it to work. Is that really faith at all?
Let me encourage you today. Whatever you have right now, take it and use it for God, not personal gain; whether one talent or five. He’s not concerned with the amount your giving to Him; He’s only concerned with the Spirit with which you give. I’m not talking only about finances. I’m talking about everything about who you are. What are you doing when no one else is watching? That’s where the talents go from one, to two, to five, to ten, etc; not in the presence of others.
Try loving on someone that seems un-loveable without expecting anything back. Try fasting if you’ve never done that. Try randomly giving to someone, but don’t tell anyone you did it. Try mending that relationship in your family or with a friend that’s broken, even if it’s not your fault that it was broken. Try reading God’s Word more than you watch TV or get on your computer. Try to smile when that person cuts you off in traffic (I know this one’s hard). Eventually God’s presence in your life will be so clear and all the desires of your heart will come into alignment with God’s. He will entrust you with much more because of the little things you did when no one else was watching.
My friends seldom quote scripture or put on the church “act” when we’re around. They don’t have to. Their lives say it all. Their faith is evident in their actions. They challenge me to ask myself if my faith would be evident whether I mentioned that I’m a Christian or not. That’s a tough reality check, but one I must access each and every day.