Most of us are familiar with the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. In the story, the master gives his servants a varying number of talents before he goes away on a long trip. To one he gives five, to another two, and to the other one. When the master returns, he calls in his servants to see what they have done with what he gave them to use. The first two servants doubled what they received, but the other one simply offered back exactly what he had been given. The servants who multiplied what they had were praised, while the one who had done nothing received harsh judgment from his master; he was stripped of what he had and thrown out of his master’s presence.
Each of us has been given gifts by God in order that we might use them for His glory. If we keep what has been entrusted to us bottled up inside, our talents will never have the chance to multiply the good that would come from their use. If you have been gifted to sing but live your life in fear of opening your mouth, your gift will never touch the life of another. Perhaps you’ve been given the gift of generosity, but your fear of financial security causes you to hoard what you have. Maybe your talent is hospitality but if you never invite someone over or go to where they are, no one will ever experience the beauty of your service. God instilled within each of us a unique blend of passions, skills, and talents. They are intended to be shared so that His glory would be multiplied to many.
It’s interesting that the parable of the talents occurs directly before the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). In that story, Jesus makes it clear that the only difference between those who are welcomed into His Kingdom and those who are not is what they did or didn’t do. Those who did the things He commanded them are welcomed in, while those who did not are banished from His sight. In back to back teachings we see God’s will for our lives. We are to use the gifts He has given us to multiply His glory in this world, and we are to obey His teachings to serve others so that they may be drawn to Him. Obedience and service are the keys to living the life God created you to live.
We must never hesitate to exploit what we have been blessed with to magnify our Lord. Whatever talents you have, use them to the full. The punished servant neglected to multiply his talent because he considered it too small and was afraid it wouldn’t be enough to make a difference. We know how that plan worked out for him. There is no gift too small that it cannot be used for the purposes of God. There is no gift so large that Jesus cannot multiply it to do far more than any could ever imagine. Don’t come to the end of your life having not used up all you have been given. Embrace your gifts without fear. Use them for His glory and to do the work He commanded you to do.