Whilst reading the familiar Parable of the Talents, God spoke very clearly to me and I’ve been thinking all week about what He said. I thought I might share this.
From the parable of the talents in Matthew’s Gospel:
‘After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ The one with the two talents also came, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting 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. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:19-30)
Now those of us who have ever invested money in anything (shares, property, etc.) know that when we invest money in something we are taking a risk. The venture we invest in could succeed thus making a good return, or it could collapse, and we could lose our investment. It is said, the bigger the risk, the higher the return.
In this parable, we see that the first two servants were prepared to undertake the risk of investing their master’s money. They both received a good return on their investment (they both got back double the amount they had invested). The third servant, however, didn’t even endeavour to undertake a low-risk investment like depositing the money in the bank! He buried the money and thus opted out of taking any risk at all. Jesus explained that the third servant was too afraid!
The first two servants were rewarded by their master because of their obedience in investing what had been given to them, which clearly involved them taking risks. The third servant was severely punished for not taking any risk at all.
So I believe the Lord is saying that I need to take more risks for Him. I believe He wants me to risk my friendships with my friends and colleagues and share my faith no matter what. (What else does He want me to risk?) Through the parable, He showed me that it is those who are too afraid to take risks for Him who will end up in a worse state in the end. (This is an understatement.)
So, are we prepared, like the first two servants, to ‘trade’ with what the Lord has given us, and take the risks, or are we too afraid to take the risk and are playing it safe?
So let’s be encouraged to take the risks for Him! Trust in Him to water the seeds you sow! And finally, let us remember Jesus’s words:
‘His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)
Lord, make me like this servant!