The story of the master with the talents is a big part of chapter four in my new book. I wanted to encourage women to not only use their gifts and talents, but to multiply with them. To see the quality of what God has given you and do something with it. This excerpt is about the third servant who did nothing with his talent that he was given. My prayer and hope for us all is that we would do something with what God has given us. He has trusted us with it, so let’s use it!


“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, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 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? 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.’” (Matthew 25:24-27)

Doesn’t end up looking too good for this last guy, does it? He came before the master explaining why he didn’t do one single thing with his talent. And from the sound of his response, he sincerely thought he was doing what was best. He at least had a long explanation.

And I get it. Don’t you? He didn’t necessarily do anything bad; he just didn’t do anything. Sometimes when I come home from work during the summer and my kids are lying around letting their brains turn into mush from TV and video games, I’m frustrated with them—not because they did anything wrong, but because they didn’t do anything at all!

Laziness can obviously be a big part of our problem in this area. As can the stagnation that sets in when we refuse to grow and multiply because we don’t have what others have. I’m always pained seeing people who want more influence, more gifts, more talents, more fill-in-the-blank, when they’re not being faithful with what God has put in front of them right where they are.

Women will say to me, “I want to write a Bible study; how do I contact someone about publishing it?” and my immediate response to them is: “Where are you teaching now?” You’d be surprised how many of them tell me they aren’t teaching anywhere. I guess they only want to teach on big stages and distribute their studies through a publishing company. They’re not using their gifts in the places where God has put them because they’re constantly wanting more.

But the underlying culprit behind hoarding our talents is always fear. Listen to the man admit it in this parable: “I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.” Fear led him not to do anything with the talent his master had invested in him. The same fear that can drive us to do crazy things in life can also drive us to do nothing with our lives.

You get one chance—one chance—to make a difference right where you are. You don’t need to travel to the ends of the world to make a difference (although if that’s what God asks of you, please go), but use your talents to serve those around you. Don’t do nothing with them just because you’re afraid.

You have talents. You have gifts. You have people in front of you who need serving and pointing to Jesus. So go do it! Don’t wait for more gifts, for “bigger” gifts. Use what God gave you, and you will hear from Him what He said in verse 21: “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.”

You Don’t Want to Go Where Fear Will Take You 

“‘So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 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.And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:28-30)

I don’t mean to be dramatic here. But this master is ticked.

I’m sorry, did he just say to “cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness”? Yes, I believe he did. He is not playing around with this man who did NOTHING with his talent. This servant had the same opportunity to multiply his gifts as the men before him. But out of fear, which turned into laziness, which turned into bad stewardship, he chose to bury his talent.

This is the part of the passage that should rattle us a little bit. We should take it seriously when we hear Jesus speak of how frustrated this man became with his servant. Because if we put all the characters in place from this parable Jesus told, the master is our heavenly Father, and these servants are you and me.

And if we do nothing with the talents we’ve been given, God is not happy about that. Hard to paint a smiley face on “cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness,” don’t you think?

But yet this parable isn’t meant to scare the heck out of us. As with everything the gospel means, it’s meant to spur us into returning and repenting so that He can free us up to serve Him and serve others, to do great and mighty things for the kingdom of God.

{Excerpt from YOU BE YOU // releasing 10.1.20}


 

Episodes

I’ve interviewed hundreds of people on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast and these are just a few great shows that speak into this topic. Check them out!

#144 Sarah Harmeyer

#154 LaToria Wilson

#165 Bri McKoy


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