This parable is so well known, that the word “talent” has come to mean any gift that is given to a person by God: your life, your time, the finances under your care, your mind, your will, and all your opportunities and abilities. In Jesus’ day, the word “talent” had a much narrower meaning: It was a unit of money equal to twenty years’ wages. To be entrusted with even one talent was astonishingly generous.
In the story, everyone has talents. There are no “zero talent” people in the beginning of the story because there have never been any “zero talent” people in the history of creation. God has generously given all of us at least one talent. He wants you to experience the joy of using your talents to contribute in meaningful and unique ways to the kingdom of God.
Jesus is using this story to ask each of us: What are you doing with the talents the Master has entrusted to your care? Are you sitting on the sidelines like the last servant, or are you maximizing what you’ve been given like the first two servants?
Notice, the third servant did nothing because he believed the worst about the master. He was not rebuked because he failed. He was rebuked because he did not even try. Do not let a fear of failing keep you from using your God-given talents for His kingdom. When we believe the best about God, we go at once to joyfully use the talents He has entrusted to us for the good of His kingdom. We don’t fear momentary failures because we know God is good and has good plans for us.
Your unique kingdom contribution cannot be made by anyone else. If you are using your God-given talents to the best of your abilities for the glory of God and the good of others, then well done! If not, what are you waiting for? Do not wait a moment longer. The right time to do the right thing is right now.
Prayer: Ask God to help you identify what talents He has given you to manage. Then pray, “God, thank You for the talents You have given me out of Your generosity. Help me courageously use them to serve others so that they can come to know and follow Your ways. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”