14 “Again, here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like. A man was going on a journey. He sent for his servants and put them in charge of his property. 15 He gave $10,000 to one. He gave $4,000 to another. And he gave $2,000 to the third. The man gave each servant the amount of money he knew the servant could take care of. Then he went on his journey. 16 “The servant who had received the $10,000 went at once and put his money to work. He earned $10,000 more. 17 The one with the $4,000 earned $4,000 more. 18 But the man who had received $2,000 went and dug a hole in the ground. He hid his master’s money in it. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned. He wanted to collect all the money they had earned. 20 The man who had received $10,000 brought the other $10,000. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with $10,000. See, I have earned $10,000 more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 “The man with $4,000 also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with $4,000. See, I have earned $4,000 more.’ 23 “His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 24 “Then the man who had received $2,000 came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest where you have not planted. You gather crops where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid. I went out and hid your $2,000 in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 “His master replied, ‘You evil, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not planted? You knew that I gather crops where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money in the bank. When I returned, I would have received it back with interest.’ 28 “Then his master commanded the other servants, ‘Take the $2,000 from him. Give it to the one who has $20,000. 29 Everyone who has will be given more. He will have more than enough. And what about anyone who doesn’t have? Even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 Throw that worthless servant outside. There in the darkness, people will sob and grind their teeth.’
I have meditated on vs24-25. Why did this third servant not do anything with his talent? It would seem to me from his answer to his master that he was afraid of the masters’ expectations of him. He was afraid that he had been given something that he was now responsible for. But is expecting a return on your investment a “hard” attitude? If I go to a financial adviser, I want good advice for the money I pay them. If God has given me resources, is it harsh or instead just plain right for him to expect me to do something good with what he’s given me?
If God has, like the master in the parable, given me at least 1 talent, then he’s got a few things in mind. First, he wouldn’t give me anything if he didn’t believe I was capable of using it well. Secondly, because he believes me capable, he rightly expects I will express my ability in action each day. What I need to do is not get stuck in the mindset of the third servant – fearing risk, failure, or having to give an account to God. He believes in me, and has given me resources. That’s enough to get moving, and get stuff done in His name.
Lord, I confess that it is all too easy to get stuck in fears and be troubled by daily concerns. But help me instead remember – you’ve given me talents because you know I can do something good with them. And therefore, you expect me to get to work today. Lord, I’m getting to work today. Lead me in using my talents well! Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh