Ordinary Talents

It might not seem like the Bible has anything to say about our talents. But when Jesus taught the parable of the talents (also called the parable of the servants) in Matthew 25:14-30, He actually tells a lot about us using our talents.

In the parable of the talents, a master calls his servants together and entrusts various amounts of money to them. Two of them invest and trade and gain. The man who got one talent buried it. When the master came home, the two servants presented their money and were praised. The master severely chastised the last servant, calling him lazy and took his talent away from him.

While talent in the story refers to about twenty year's wages, it's interesting the word talent is in this verse, since we use the word today, only in terms of gifts and abilities. But the story can be applied to our talents. Some have a ton of abilities, others only one. It's easy for those with several talents to invest them. But what about those with only one? Does the one talent really count as much as the five? Might as well bury it in the ground, right?

Maybe not.

When the last servant brought out his talent, un-used and uninvested, his master called him wicked and lazy. He was angry because the servant didn't even bother to invest the talent or collect interest on it. The same thing applies with our gifts. If we don't grow that one talent, then we're like the lazy servant, and what did the master do with his talent? Took it away from him.

God has entrusted talent(s) to us. Some are glamorous, others not so much. But we're called to invest those gifts and use them to serve others and serve God. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10, NASB.) Our hidden talents can't do anything to further God's kingdom, but when we use our talents, who knows how much good we can do in the world?

You might look at your gift and think, “There's nothing I can for God with it.” Your gift might be cooking, or math, or keeping toddlers entertained. But these ordinary talents can be used for God.

There's a woman at my church who has the gift for making cards and writing messages. For every birthday and anniversary she sends out a card, year in, year out, without fail. You could offer to babysit or volunteer in the nursery, or help your sibling with their math struggles, or cook dinner for your mom when's she's wiped out. “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’” (Matthew 25:40, NASB.)

Our abilities are different for a reason. God's given you a gift. What are you doing with it?

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