Dear World Changer,
As I read Jesus’s Parable of the Talents in Matthew recently, I was sobered by something:
The master who went away and left three servants in charge of his property “…knew what each servant could do [CEV].”
How would it change your life if you believed what is in your hand to steward is because God knew what you could do?
What if everything—your spiritual gifts, the opportunities in your life, your strength and skills, and even your platform and sphere of influence—were entrusted to you by God because He knew what you could do?
What would it mean to you to have the vote of confidence of the God of the Universe?
Tragically, even the servant who buried the one thousand coins entrusted to him had his master’s vote of confidence. But just because his master knew what he could do, didn’t mean he would.
I continued reading and was jarred by what Jesus calls this third servant: wicked. Not irresponsible, risk-averse, or even a poor steward—language I might have used—but ‘wicked.’
Who among us hasn’t made a bad investment? Can you blame a guy for being afraid of his boss? He sounds intimidating.
‘Poor thing,’ we might say or ‘I’ll pray for him,’ but that’s not what Jesus said. He didn’t prescribe prayer ministry or tell him to enroll in a Dave Ramsey money management course. And he didn’t cast the man as a victim. Jesus called him wicked.
The judgment struck me as unfairly harsh. Clearly, I was missing something. So I asked God what made this servant wicked? Here’s what He showed me.
The servant had been given agency, treasure, and a choice—to believe God and what was true of Him, or to believe the lies of the Enemy about God. By not taking the risk required to invest his master’s treasure, he revealed what he really believed: that God wouldn’t or couldn’t help him. Lies.
In fact, all those who failed to please God in each of the three parables in Matthew 25 had something in common: they didn’t really know of the One to whom they owed their devotion. They didn’t know His heart and mind and character.
- The five virgins were sleeping and their lamps empty when the bridegroom finally came.
- The servant buried the coins entrusted to him rather than taking a financial risk.
- And the people of the nations Jesus called ‘goats’ did nothing to take care of the least of these: the strangers, the naked, the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, or the prisoners.
If these five virgins had believed the bridegroom, they would not have been slumbering or run out of oil for their lamps. They did not know the bridegroom, or they would have trusted his word: that he would come as he said he would. They would have trusted his character. Running short on oil was not just a failure to plan; it was a failure to believe.
Perhaps the wicked servant was too lazy to do the risk-reward calculations, or too fearful to make the investment. Or maybe he even counted the sum entrusted to him too small relative to the other servants’ sums to bother investing. Whatever it was, he did not know his master’s mind, that he preferred his servants take a risk in the hopes of a return, even on a ‘small’ sum. Doing nothing guaranteed no return.
The people of the nations Jesus will judge as ‘goats’ when he returns did not know God’s heart for the ‘nobodies’—the least of these. So, they did nothing to meet their needs.
What we believe to be true about Jesus—his character, his mind, his heart—matters right now, and for all eternity.
To bury our talents is to cast a vote of no-confidence in the God of the Universe, the same God who cast a vote of confidence in us. It’s unthinkable.
Knowing I have God’s vote of confidence of the God of the Universe changes everything.
This revelation is producing a revolution in my soul.
It sobers me, fills me with joy, and emboldens me to take risks I might not otherwise. I hope it will do the same for you.
However small or insignificant your treasure is in your own eyes, instead of burying it:
- Believe God. He believes in you.
- Take risks with Him because you trust Him.
- Invest the talent He’s entrusted you with even if you might lose it all (you won’t). What looks a sacrifice now is always a trade up.
- Let your life be a revelation of His true nature to all those looking on.
Give God the joy of watching you do what He always knew you could do.
I would LOVE to hear from you.
Please share with me below how God is speaking to you about your own gifts and how they might be used to advance His Kingdom.
What risks will be required?
- Strong’s Concordance