Don't Let Fear Keep You From Using Your Talent (Yes, You Have One!)
Matthew 25: 14-30
The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 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.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 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.’ 23 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.’ 24 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, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 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? 27 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. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 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. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (ESV)
As I was reading this passage this week I noticed a little word with great, big meaning. That word was “afraid.” The wicked and lazy servant buried his talent in the ground because of fear. That servant was given only one talent to serve his master with. Just one, yet because he was afraid of failing his master he just put the talent away and never even attempted to improve or use it. In fact, he hid this talent away so no one could find it. When his master returned he was angry at his servant and took the talent away and gave it to his most trustworthy servant-the servant who already had 10 talents.
So how does this apply to you and me today? The exact same way. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has at least one talent or gift given to them by God for His service. You may think you do not have one or that your talent isn’t important, but you do and it is. Your talent may be that you are a very friendly person, you may be smart, you may be humble, you may be creative, you may be an excellent manager of all things domestic, or you may sing, write, paint, or preach. Whatever it is you can use it to point others to Christ.
Another thing we must keep in mind is that talents don’t always come out of us “full grown.” Our talents will need to be developed. The only way to develop them is with study AND use. Just like a body builder has to learn what exercises will get his muscles in the shape he desires as well as actually physically perform those exercises for his muscles to grow, we, too, must learn about how to develop our talents well and put them to use. The more we use our talent the better we will become and the easier it will be for us to use. A great way to do this is by reading the Bible for wisdom and also other books that teach us how to develop our specific talent. Audio books and online videos are available as well on many different subjects to help us develop our talents.
Don’t let fear stand in the way of your calling and talent. Don’t be that wicked, lazy servant who buried his talent. I Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but He has given us the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. When we let fear take control, God won’t let His talent lay waste in vain, He will gift it to someone else who will use it. Don’t rob yourself and all the others you could be pointing to Christ of the blessing. Be courageous (Joshua 1:9) and remember that your Master never leaves. He is always near to assist in the development and use of the talents He gives and prepares the hearts of those you are to bless. How can you bless someone with your God-give talent today?