Have you ever read the words of Jesus and felt uncomfortable? Me too. I can bask in a kind word someone says about me, but when I go back to the Word of God, I see myself in a different light.
The parables in Matthew and Luke about the Master and the Talents have always made me squirm. I have tended to see myself as that last guy, who got 1 talent from his master, and hid it in the ground, getting nothing from it. And then the Master's reply- that the servant is wicked and lazy. Not forgetful, or ignorant, or even shy. He is wicked and lazy, and there is no arguing with the Master's assessment.
In our culture, a 'talent' is something that certain people have and it completely impresses and entertains others. Singing. Acting. Writing. Making people laugh. Those are talents, right? But what was it that the Master in this parable distributed to his servants? It was most likely a very large weight of gold or silver. It wasn't about them, having 'talent' for the world to applaud. It was something of the Master's, being entrusted to them, to steward and invest while He was away.
For many years, I wondered if I might be like the guy who buried his, mostly because I didn't see I had much to offer. I'm not all that 'talented'. I seem to learn so many things the hard way. How could I, without much 'talent', do anything that would please my Lord?
As I have prayed many times through my adult life for the Lord to make me fit for His kingdom, I have started to see this parable in a different light. Yes, the Master demands a return on His 'money', and yes there is a separation between those who do His will and those who don't. But what I have been greatly encouraged in is that it's not about other's assessments of me, or how much I've been given, because that is up to God, and He is my judge.
He gave to each 'according to his ability'. I spend what I have for my Good Lord. I don't concern myself with how much I have been given, or not been given.
I do concern myself with what I do with what I have. Because my Lord has entrusted me with His things, to steward them and add to His eternal treasures. He is returning, and I will give account.
My society tells me that talent is one thing. The Bible says otherwise.
'His lord said to him 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' Matthew 25:23
Oh, how sweet to think about entering into the joy of my Lord! May we all spend wisely until His return.