Monday, July 9, 2012
The Worthless Servant
Have you ever been called worthless or useless? Has someone ever told you that you were good for nothing in this world? Comments like that hurt and can bring a person down to a major low in life. Now imagine if God was to tell you that? Imagine seeing God face to face, this all powerful and absolute being tell you that you were a wicked and worthless servant. Now talk about demeaning. This type of comment would be a major blow to someone's self esteem.
In Mathew 25:14-30 Jesus tells a parable about 3 people getting a measure of money (called a talent) from their boss. Now the amount given is not important, but the importance lies in what the people did with the money. Two of these individuals took the money and invested it. It was a risky task but it paid off because they doubled the money for their boss. The other individual was full of fear for doing something wrong, instead of investing the money he hid it to keep it safe. The reason why he was afraid was because his boss was known to be a hard person. He didn't want to screw anything up. So long story short, when the boss called the three people back he was pleased with the first two people who invested and made a profit. He actually rewarded them for what they did; however, the last individual was not as lucky. He was punished because he did absolutely nothing with what he was given. He was called wicked and lazy; as a result the boss fired him. Can you see the picture that I'm beginning to draw?
In this specific parable Jesus was not talking about mere money. He was trying to teach us a lesson. What was that lesson? It was that God gives us these abilities or "talents". Everyone has them; some are teachers, comedians, cooks, etc. Everyone is good at something and this is what God gives us. GOd does not want us to do nothing with these gifts. He doesn't want to sit around and waste them by either not using them, or by applying them for our own selfish needs. On the contrary, there is a purpose for our gifts and talents: it is to further the kingdom of God. It is to help people and empower them to either seek God out or realize that he is there. Talents like laughter can literally save a person's life. One smile can convince a person thinking of suicided that there is more meaning to life. It can help them see the significance or even the value of their own existence. Sometimes we fall into the character of the third man in the parable. We get scared and fearful that if we put ourselves out there and use our talents for GOd we will mess up and ruin everything. Other times we are just scared to even try. Its not wrong to be afraid, but it Is wrong to let that fear control us. If we fall into this, we end up wasting our lives and doing nothing productive for it. We have gifts for a reason: gifts are meant to give to others. Now imagine God saying to you 'You are wicked and lazy because you wasted what I gave you'. That is something no one wants to hear.
On the other hand, if we do use our gifts for God, we take a risk that tends to work out. No where in this parable does anyone try and fail. They always try and succeed. The two individuals doubled their earnings and they were given more as a reward. Likewise, when we give our talents to God and use them he blesses us immensely. I think of one girl in particular who has a great personality and heart. Her talent is making little pens and art products. She is also a good sales person. She is using these gifts to sell little products so she can build a well in Haiti. While in the process of doing this, she was contacted by other organizations that will double the money she makes.
Using your talents is risky and fearful, but God is not going to leave you hanging. He is going to help you and while you are doing it, he is going to blow you away with how he is going to multiply it.