Sunday Devotional: How have you used the ‘talents’ God gave you?

The Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

creation-of-man

The homilies and sermons I’ve heard define “talents” as natural aptitudes or skills, such as a “talent” for music, or math, or speech, or writing, or athleticism…. We are exhorted to make “good” use of our “talents” without explaining what “good use” means.

But if you think about it, in His parable Jesus did not define “talents,” nor did He restrict the word’s meaning to aptitudes or skills. In the context of the parable, the word “talents” clearly means “gifts”.

So what “gifts” has our Creator given each of us? — all given generously, bountifully, and gratuitously, for none of us actually did anything to deserve them.

I can think of the following gifts, about which I ask myself if and how I am using them. Have I used them to good or to disuse (“buried in the ground”)? Or worse, to ill?

1. The Gift of Life: Life is precious and truly miraculous. We are to honor, treasure, and respect not just our own life (and not throw it away in suicide), but also all life, including the unborn still in their mothers’ wombs, as well as other life forms on Earth, for we are called to be good stewards of His creation.

2. The Gift of a Body: Our bodies are truly a miracle. It is only when a part of our body fails that we realize what a miracle it is — how each organ (just look at the eyeball!) is a fascinating and most intricate construction; and how every part must work in perfect coordination to keep us alive. We are to honor this fantastic gift by keeping our bodies intact (i.e., not mutilating it for no good reason via body piercings, tattoos, cutting, perverse amputation, vain cosmetic surgery….) and healthy, instead of abusing our bodies with gluttony, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, STDs, and worse from promiscuity and bizarre sexual practices like anal penetration, fisting, rimming, fecal-ingestion (see “What they’ll never teach you in ‘homosexual education“).

3. The Gift of a Mind: We were created with a mind and with certain unique-to-each-of-us aptitudes and skills. We are to honor this awesome gift by keeping our minds pure instead of defiling it with thoughts of lust, greed, and hate. And as the Parable of the Talents reminds us, whether we’ve been given many aptitudes or few, our Creator expects that we put those aptitudes to good use and multiply the “talents,” instead of being lazy and indolent (“burying the talent in the ground”) or, worse, using our intelligence and skills to ill purpose to deceive, defraud, hurt, destroy, or kill.

4. The Gift of a Soul: More precious than our body and mind is our soul, for our soul is our essence that remains and survives after our bodily death. Do we keep it holy, or do we allow our soul to become darkened and overladen with sin, like that grotesque portrait of Dorian Grey in the attic? Doubt the soul’s existence? See:

5. The Gift of Family and Friends: We are each commanded to honor our father and mother. However imperfect they are (as if we are perfect!), they did not elect abortion but gave birth to us.

6. The Gifts of Money, Home, and Food: Do we put our money to good and useful purpose? Or do we spend it on frivolous indulgences, or worse — to evil (like Warren Buffet giving $millions for abortions)? Do we miserly hoard it, instead of helping those in need and donating to honest, productive charities? How many of us waste food, instead of treating food with respect? (It never ceases to amaze me how much food diners leave on their plates in restaurants, when they can take it home in a doggy bag.) Do you know that Americans threw out 35 million tons of food in 2012? That’s 20% more food than we tossed out in 2000, 50% more than in 1990, and nearly 300% more than in 1960 — which means, despite the preachings about global warming and saving mother Earth, we actually are wasting more food today than before there was an environmental movement.

Two last thoughts about the Parable of the Talents:

  1. We are told that if we put our talents to good use, “Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.” What a humbling thought…. But though our responsibilities will increase, we are also promised great joy: Come, share your master’s joy.”
  2. Jesus warns us that if we’re lazy and not make use of the gifts we were given (“buried in the ground”) and so live a “useless” life, then more will be taken away from us. At the end of our life, we will be thrown “into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” If this is what will happen to the indolent, I dread to think what the Creator will do to those of us who misuse our gifts for evil.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and may you make full use of the gifts He gave you, and bloom like this rose!

~Eowyn

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9 responses to “Sunday Devotional: How have you used the ‘talents’ God gave you?

  1. Super lesson! I hope everyone with the gift of sight reads this and the blind will know it in their hearts. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Sunday Devotional.

    However great our fear – there is no cause to worry if we keep our thinking clear.
    If we are true to every trust and if we strive to be forever faithful to our cause in all sincerity – however life will call – our will can be victorious and conquer over all..

    kommonsentsjane

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn. God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. wonderful devotional Dr. Eowyn and I agree, we should always check ourselves for the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us.

    for people who have committed suicide, they have rejected the Lord’s blessings and embraced the devil’s failures.
    when people live with depression or are apathetic, they are ignoring the many blessings the Lord has given.
    when we recognize the Lord’s blessings and embrace them and do good with His gifts while giving Him the glory, then we are truly showing our Creator gratitude while reflecting His greatness.
    and He will give us more blessings:
    “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
    2 Corinthians 9:8
    this is a very appropriate devotional, especially with Thanksgiving just a few days away.
    when the Light abounds within you, all you can do is become the mirror that reflects it, for all to see His glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, MomOfIV, for your wise words, and to all for your generous and encouraging affirmation. God’s grace shine on you all!

    Like

  7. Yes. And Napoleon Hill gave a lecture once, over 50 years ago. He said that “98 out of every 100 people” will fail to discover the real meaning of their lives, will fail to discover why they are here.
    Yet at the same time, many people try to make the best of their talents, and now, more than ever before, they are up against a system that does not appreciate their efforts and tosses them to the side.
    Herbert Hoover said something a propos to today’s post here. As close as I can remember it, it is:
    “Talent is not omnipotent, for talent unrewarded is almost a proverb. Hard work and perseverance are omnipotent.”
    The simple and subtle CATEGORICAL REFUSAL to cave and give up alone conquers all. Perseverance conquers where education, talent and even good will do not. We must persevere—because men of bad will shall.

    Like

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