Why Are You Hiding Your Talent?

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Photo: “Moneybox” by Дмитрий Куляев is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Many of us have read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 several times. And most of us (if not all of us) have been able to make the connection between those talents in that parable and the gifts/graces which God has given each of us. However, today, I want to write about another connection which only a few might have drawn. Let me begin by summarizing the story.

This parable of talents is one about a master who is about to embark on a journey and hands out some talents to his 3 trusted servants – each according to his ability. He gave one talent to the weakest of them, and 5 talents to the smartest, then 2 talents to the third servant, after which he went on his journey. The others invested their talents wisely, and got good returns on them, while the one with the one talent went and hid it in the ground to protect himself from an investment that may go south. On his return, the master was not happy with this one-talent-hiding of a servant, who remained on the same level he had left him. So, he fired him. Now, some of us might not blame this servant. After all, you can never be too careful with something you treasure; you need to keep it safe. However, there is a very important message in there that I want to share with you today.

Who/What is Involved in This Parable of Talents?

Before we continue, it is important to identify the actors and objects at play here: The master is God; the servants are you and I; the journey which the master embarked on is the one Jesus is currently on, after he physically left this world (remember, Jesus is God). And, lastly, different from our traditional understanding, I would like to represent the talent as our spiritual growth; the one talent being the first stage, which is the salvation experience. You see, a lot of people stop at this level of growth. They get saved and, out of fear of losing their salvation, remain on this one level of growth. They ‘dig a hole and hide’ their salvation. Many of them go to church every Sunday, and that’s it. They go out in their day-to-day life and “play it safe,” not wanting to offend anyone or God.

Now, let’s bring this home. Are you playing it safe as a Christian; not wanting to endanger your salvation experience, and so not making any effort to grow personally? Do you read your Bible only to maintain your Christian status, or do you study your Bible to discover deeper revelations, and have a richer relationship with God? (By the way, there’s a difference between just reading your Bible, and actually studying it.) Do you unashamedly and fearlessly go on a personal quest to seek God’s face through fasting and prayer? As a Christian, you must grow past the salvation experience level, and I believe this was also why Jesus told this parable of the talents. He expects us to put that one talent to work, and grow it into something more.

But Isn’t Salvation Enough to Get Me into Heaven?

You might be wondering: But what’s the point of growing when all that matters is that I make heaven? After all, the salvation experience alone can get me there. 🤷‍♀️ It is true that salvation, which comes as a result of faith in Jesus Christ, is the only requirement to enter heaven. However, the Bible also says that it is a sin to know the thing you must do, and then not do it. – James 4:17. Remember, Jesus cursed the fig tree, because it was supposed to bear fruit, but didn’t – Mark 11:12-14, 20. (Watch out for my discussion on it under the Miracle Lessons. It should be around lesson #19.) Moreover, Jesus declared that God will cut off any branch in Him that does not bear fruit – John 15:1-2. Now, which is more to be feared: To fear losing our salvation so much that we refuse to put it to work, or fear missing out on going to heaven that we actually take the leap of faith and work? Remember, the servant, in the parable, told his master that he was afraid of him, and that was why he safely hid his talent. The servant didn’t even lose his talent – his salvation. But the master told him that the fear of him should have, instead, motivated him to invest his talent into something that would have yielded returns. No wonder the Bible says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling – Philippians 2:12.

Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Ephesians 1:18, puts it thus, “Those who have their eyes opened, and have some understanding in the things of God, have need to be more and more enlightened, and to have their knowledge more clear, and distinct, and experimental. Christians should not think it enough to have warm affections, but they should labour to have clear understandings; they should be ambitious of being knowing Christians, and judicious Christians.”

Conclusion

From the Scripture, we can seen that Jesus’ greatest desire is to see us bear fruit – fruit that will last (John 15:16). However, to get to this fruit-bearing stage, we must grow and never stop growing. Will you make a decision with me, right now, to grow, personally, and never stop growing? Decide to take some time out of your extremely busy schedule (I know) to seek God’s face in prayer and study of the word. Finally, I leave you with these last words from my favorite Apostle, Paul, and from Jesus:

Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. [In preparation, you should] study to show yourself approved to God, a worker that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [This is because, in this world,] you are going to have the light just a little while longer. [So,] walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. [That is why] we must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

2 Timothy 4:2; 2:15; John 12:35; 9:4, brackets mine

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Do you hear God speaking to you today through this lesson? Please, leave a comment or question; your comment/question might be a blessing to someone. You could also contact us through our contact page.

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I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.

Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!

Author: Somto Ufondu

I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.

Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!

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