So today I ended up reading about the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. Now you would assume that I was reading this from the bible, but I wasn’t. It actually came from a business book by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, called “Why we want you to be rich.”
Robert was explaining how a youth minister once challenged him and others to come up with the meaning behind the parable. If you are not familiar with the parable, basically a rich person gave his servants different amounts of Talents (currency) to hold onto while he went away on a long trip. Two of his servants invested the money and doubled it while he was gone, while the third servant dug a hole in the ground and hid it.
When the master returned, the first two servants returned the money entrusted to them along with the additional money they gained. In response to their good work, they were trusted with many things and invited to share in their master’s happiness. But when the third servant told the master that he had hidden the money opposed to investing it like the others, the master became angry and replied:
“You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
So being in a business book, you would assume that Robert was attempting to state that the poor get poorer while the rich get richer, or that poor people are lazy and irresponsible. These were the common answers among his peers from his story, but I do not believe this is what the parable is saying.
So, what is it saying then? Personally, I believe the parable has to do with the literal term of the word talent or skill. When we became Christian, we were all presented with different spiritual gifts. Some were more prevalent than others, but God gave them to us based on what He knew we could do with them.
How often though are we like the third servant? We know we have at least one gift that God has given us as we were all created with a unique purpose, but so often we fail to properly invest the time and effort into using and growing that gift. Instead, we hide ourselves from the world or pretend like we do not have any gifts at all.
Like money, if a talent or skill gets set aside untouched, the value of it is pretty much worthless. It does no good to anyone. When we are given money or a skill, we really ought to invest it so that it produces more. If your skill is music, invest the time to practice and play so you will become better and better. If you like to program or cook, invest in that.
The more you invest, the better you become, and the more you can do with that given skill or gift. As you continue to grow in your faith, those skills will probably end up coming in handy to support the church, or encourage growth among other Christians or to just become a better person. But if you waste them and do not invest the time to make them grow, your purpose will likely be unfulfilled.
God has a final plan for everyone. If you are unwilling to do your part to bring people to His kingdom, He may just take away the talents He gave you and give them to someone else who is willing to do the job. Don’t be a lazy Christian and fail to do your part in supporting God’s mission, no matter how small or large your part may be, or you may just find yourself kicked to the curb with the unbelievers.