There is a parable in the bible that Jesus told about a wealthy man who was going on a journey and left three of his employees a gift of talents (or money). The first man he gave five talents, the second two talents and the third, one talent. The first two men went away and invested their talents and increased their investment by doubling it. However the third man was afraid because he knew his employer was a tough man who expected him to increase whatever he was given. So instead of doing anything to bring increase he gave way to his fears and buried his talent, not even bothering to gain interest on what he’d been entrusted with. (Matthew 25:14-30)
When the employer returned the men with 5 and 2 talents were congratulated for their increase and faithfulness. But on discovering the third man’s lack of effort the employer became angry, because instead of taking what he’d been given the third man had allowed fear to cause him to do nothing.
This man lived his life fear based rather than faith based.
“The man with the one talent buried his talent and showed his fear, he should have buried his fear and showed his talent”(J Osteen)
Jesus told this parable because He wants us to understand that we have all been given something that we can use to increase and bless the world with. However no one will ever benefit from our gifts if we live a fear based life. With a fear of failure, fear of people, fear of what could happen, of the what if’s.
All three men had the same opportunity given to them to take what they had been given and increase it. Two chose to live faith based, but one chose to be fearful and complacent and buried his talent.
Just like the men with their talents, each one of us has been uniquely given gifts and talents, which God has entrusted us with. He doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to others, but He does expect us to increase what we’ve been given. To take our talent, to work with it and to turn it into a skill.
Just as the three men had to give an account as to what they had done with their talents we too will give an account one day when God asks us, “what did you do with the talent, the gift, the opportunities I gave you?” It is not important to Him whether it is 1, 2 or 5 talents, what matters is what did we do with what we have been given.
Our gift may seem small but if we develop it, that little gift can open big doors.
David in the bible could have said that his talent of writing and singing songs on his harp and using a slingshot were small and insignificant. He was stuck out in the fields, forgotten about by his family, while his older brothers were in the armed forces fighting. But he took what talent he had and everyday he practiced his slingshot and his harp.
Then one day he faced Goliath and used that same slingshot to kill the giant, and in doing so he became a national hero overnight. He also got to marry the King’s daughter and live tax free for the rest of his life. Plus it is some of those same songs David wrote and sang while out in the fields that we know generations later as the Psalms in the bible.
Today instead of burying and hiding your gifts, why not bury the insecurity, the doubts, the fears, what the critics have said against you and choose instead to start showing off and growing your talent until it becomes a skill. Start honouring your talent and you will see the increase as you take what you have and develop it and keep getting better. Soon that gift will be opening doors of opportunity, doors of promotion, doors of influence for you.
Prayer: Lord thankyou that you have gifted me with talents and abilities. Please help me to come out of hiding today and to everyday work to turn those talents into skills. In Jesus name Amen.