“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, `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!’
22 “The man with the two talents also came. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 “His master replied, `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!’
24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. `Master,’ he said, `I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His 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? 27 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.
28 “`Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-29 NIV
Jesus said that the kingdom of God is like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. He gave them one, three and five talents—most likely in accordance with their abilities and proven faithfulness—and then he went off and left them to do what was required of them. Two of the servants, who had three and five talents respectively, went out and put their money to work, doubling their investment. However, the servant who had the one talent did absolutely nothing with it. He was so afraid of his master and so afraid to fail that he did nothing at all. He went out and hid his talent in the ground.
After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. He was very pleased with the servants who had used their talents and increased their initial investment, but he was angry with the servant who wasted his talent by hiding it. He called him wicked and lazy. The first mistake the servant made was to be motivated by fear—believing that the master was hard and unfair—at least that was his excuse! The second mistake he made was to be lazy—he tried to take the path of least resistance. However, the “easy” way turned out to be the hard way—he ended up losing his talent, his job and his place in the master’s house.
God is not a master to be feared—unless we are wicked and lazy servants. However, He is a master to be respected. We show our respect by our submission to God—to do His will—not just doing what we want to do. God expects us to work. He gives us talents and abilities and He requires that we work and use them.
God is not angry with us when we try and we fail. He is angered by our laziness, wastefulness and lack of faith. We should not be afraid of using the gifts and talents God has given us. He gives the abilities—we work and use them. As we prove ourselves faithful and trustworthy, we are entrusted with more, until we are promoted permanently into a place of honor in His presence. Take the talents that God has given you and put them to work. Use them so that you will be pleasing to the Lord Who made you and graced you with those gifts.