“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
The Greek word used for talents, rather than equating to a monetary value, literally translates to “weight”. Viewing this common parable through this lens changes the perspective considerably. What holds the most “weight” in our lives? Whatever we value most, we often put the most time and money into. God has given certain things “weight” in our hearts and lives. He has fashioned us with unique propensities towards enjoying different things. These interests usually in some way tie into how He intends to use us for His kingdom.
What has weight in your life? What are you passionate about? What do you sow your time and money into? A business? Children? A career? Friends? The parable shows two opposing responses to how we can respond to these things in our lives. We can invest or we can bury. In the parable, it was the talents that were buried, but I'd like to suggest that often times in this day and age it's our talents- what we place weight in- that can bury US. We can sink so much finances or time into one of these things that holds weight in our heart that we end up losing ourselves. We lose out on the opportunity to multiply those things we love. Ironically, just as in the parable, we often think that we are protecting or nurturing these things by pouring into them so much and keeping such a tight hold on them.
When we do as the other two in the parable model and RELEASE these things we hold dearest to be used by the Kingdom of God, in that release we actually GAIN more. What does this look like practically? If you have a business, to what degree are you using your business as a vehicle through which to love, minister, and share the gospel? If you have children, to what extent have you dedicated them back to the Lord, sowing into them seeds of the gospel? If you place weight on your career, to what extent have you given your talents to the Lord and asked Him how He can use them in your workplace or in the marketplace? If your friends hold the most weight in your life, to what degree are those friendships connections that build up and draw each other near to the Lord?
Our challenge this week is to look at what has your time, energy, and money. Examine what has emotional weight in your heart. Then take these things to the Lord, asking how you can use them more for His Kingdom. For to the one who has, more will be given.