Jesus tells a parable in Matthew 25 about three servants, a master, and some talents. The master goes on a business trip and leaves each servant some talents – one he leaves five talents, another two talents, and still another one talent.
There can be much discussion about what precisely a talent is in this context. It can mean a scale of balance or something weighed or a measure. It’s been known to represent a sum of money as in a single talent worth approximately $1000.00. Whatever its exact meaning, this parable indicates a large sum of money.
Jesus continues the parable. The master’s expectation is that each servant does something with the talent entrusted to them. The servant with 5 doubles his. The servant with 2 doubles his. The servant with one maintains his, not risking or investing.
The master returns from his journey and reconciles accounts with all three servants. Both the five and two talent servants are praised. But the one talent servant is harshly rebuked.
The parable is likely referring to a sum of money given to each servant. And yes, it can also allude to actual gifts God has entrusted to each of us. But it seems there’s more to it. So take a moment and notice the difference between the 5 and 2 talent servants and the one talent servant. What’s the difference? Yes, they were given different amounts. Yes, they invested and didn’t invest. Do you see it?
One maintained while the other two didn’t. Maintaining, for sure, is uncomplicated and painless. It doesn’t take near as much effort as growth does. On the contrary, growth, and development take work, action, and grit.
God desires growth – in all areas of life. He’s not interested in maintaining. In fact, I’d say God’s against maintenance only, as seen in Jesus’ parable. He wants us to grow in our character, in our relationship with Him, our spouse, family, kids, friends, in our jobs, seeking after the lost, and yes, how we handle our gifts and resources.
That’s a challenging insight. Thankfully we don’t approach that challenge alone. The Holy Spirit enables growth as we respond obediently. And we have each other, holding each other accountable.
Here’s a simple way to start. Pick a relationship. Any relationship. Maybe a spouse, friend, or family member. Begin praying, asking God to show you how He wants that relationship to grow. Then start looking. You will begin to see growth opportunities as you intentionally look for them. Then respond obediently.
Then wash, rinse, and repeat for other areas of your life.
Lastly, I’ll mention this – There’s a promise of blessing to the two that didn’t maintain but sought growth. What’s the passage say?
Matthew 25:23 Well done good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter the joy of your master.
Joy of your master. That sounds like a pretty good blessing to me. How about you?
You are loved!