The word ‘talent’ is defined as a special natural ability or aptitude; a gift or skill. The word was originally derived from an ancient unit of weight that was used for trading. A familiar usage of talents in the Bible is found in Matthew 25:14-30. If you are not familiar with it, you can catch up on the concise version below.
The Parable of the Talents
A man was due to travel to a far off country. He called his servants and gave each of them talents according to their own abilities – one received five talents, another three, and yet another only one talent. After a long time, the master returned home and wanted an account from his servants.
The servant who had received five talents had doubled what he had been given and earned five more talents. The master was very pleased with him and promised him a promotion. Likewise, the servant who had received two talents, earned two more and pleased the master.
The servant who had received only one talent, however, had buried his talent in the ground and did not earn anything from it. Needless to say, the master was furious at the lazy servant. He took the talent away from him and gave it to the servant who had ten talents.
This parable serves as an allegory for quite a few Biblical truths. We will be looking at it from the perspective of making the most of the talents God has given us.
You have a God-given Talent
God has given each of us a talent – a raw ability, something we are naturally good at. My talent may not be the same as yours. Your talent is unique. It is something God handpicked for you to do, taking your personality and background into account.
Lest you say you don’t have a talent, may I remind you that all Moses had was a rod. In Exodus 4:2, God asks Moses, “What is that in your hand?” Moses had only a rod in his hand and God used that to help him lead an entire nation to freedom.
What is in your hand?
What are you naturally good at? You can find your strengths here, if you haven’t yet. You might not be qualified at it, but if you have a passion for something, that is your God-given talent. Your talent need not be restricted to just your natural ability. Maybe you experienced some kind of difficulty in your life and learnt a lot from that situation. The knowledge that you gained from that experience could be your unique strength.
In the parable, the master returns and demands an account of what each of the stewards had done with what he had given them. What have you done with your God-given talent? There will come a time when you have to give an account. It’s true that each of the stewards were given a different quantity of talents – some were entrusted with more, some with less. But in the end, it was the result they produced that mattered.
Have you turned your talent into a profit?
Have you put your God-given talent to use? Successful people take action. Do something with the unique strengths God has given you. It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 talents or 2. The first two stewards used their different talents to earn more and pleased the master – they were equally promised more responsibility (a promotion of sorts). Our starting positions and circumstances in life do not matter, being faithful and achieving something with what we have is what matters. Only when you have produced results with the talents that God has given you, can He entrust you with more.
Use it or Lose it
The servant who had received only one talent did not put it to good use. He buried the talent and when it was time to give an account, he produced the exact same talent – nothing lost, nothing gained. There might seem to be nothing wrong with this philosophy until we see the master’s reaction. The master called the steward lazy, reproved his inaction and took the talent away from him.
Have you buried your talent?
At times, the thought of putting our talents to use may cause us fear which in turn leads to inaction. We bury our talents and carry on with our lives. But that is not what God wants from us. God has provided you with everything you need to use your talents for His glory. If you choose not to use your talents, you will eventually lose them. God will take away your talent/opportunity and give it to someone who will put it to better use. It is a sobering thought, but such is reality.
A Personal Note:
God gave me the vision to start a website to equip online businesses quite a while back. Sadly, I delayed taking action – I let my fears and insecurities get the better of me. Eventually, the opportunity slipped out of my hands and I had missed out on something big. God’s timing is perfect. If He has given you a vision, act on it within God’s time frame. If you don’t, your window of opportunity will close and you would have missed something great God had in mind for you.
If you have missed such an opportunity to use your talents, do not fear – there is still hope for you. When you come back to God and request another chance, He will graciously give it to you. He gave me another chance and Clothed In Scarlet came into existence. But because I had not taken action the first time around, I had to start again from scratch. I urge you to learn from my failed attempt and make the most of your talents before the opportunity is taken away you.
What is hindering you from putting your talents to use? Do you fail failure? Fear will only paralyze you and keep you from achieving what God has planned for you. And believe me, He has awesome plans for you!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God has already equipped you for everything He has planned for you to do.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
So, what’s stopping you? Dive in and embrace the purpose God has planted in you. Identify your talents, act on them and hear the Master say:
‘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!’ (Matthew 25:23)
What talent has God blessed you with? What are you planning to do with it?