Do you ever read a passage in the bible and get slightly pissed at God? You read and you’re like “What was he thinking? This is so unfair especially coming from the ‘Big Man’ up there?” The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25: 14-30, used to be among the few passages I felt distaste for until my dear friend Taiwo Omotesho, in one of our seriously playful conversations, led me to read it again. This time, something changed.
A little backstory here. Taiwo had lead me on some career talks about how she has a lot of things she wants to venture in but for every one of them, there’s a barricade clogging the wheels of its success. For her (not until the revelation) it was a case of “If the road isn’t smooth, then I’m not even gonna try to make a little out of nothing”. Then she narrated to me how one evening she was having a sober reflection and asking God why it was like that and then he took her mind to recall the Parable of the Talents. According to her, God asked her what she has done with one of the many ideas at least. And her answer was Zilch. “So how is it that you want more?” God asked. How awakening! I knew I needed to revisit the parable again to gain a fresh understanding.
Why I Used To Be Offended
The Parable of the Talents likened the kingdom of heaven to a master traveling into a far country. Before embarking on his trip, he summons his three servants and gives them talents. He gave one five talents, another two talents, and one ‘only’ one talent. Each of them was expected to trade and make profits on his behalf.
Notice my emphasis on the word ‘only’? Yes! That was why I always got pissed with the parable but thankfully not anymore. I used to exercise my resentment as to why the master (who represents God in the parable) was unfair and didn’t give each servant the same amount of talent. I always asked why? Did he not like him? Maybe.
The gospel of Matthew puts that when he returned from his trip, he called each servant to give an account of how the talents were utilized. The one who was given five had made an extra five (ten), the one given two, an extra two (four) but the one given one due to his dissatisfaction buried it. Back then I used to say that if I was in his shoes, I might have done worse, maybe quit the job because of the oozing partiality.
Revisiting the Parable again, asides from gaining new insight, what made it even more interesting and easy to comprehend was reading from The Living Bible translation; one of the best things to happen to my spiritual growth.
The Big Revelations
God Detest Idle Hands: First, I got to understand that the talents represented money and the one talent was actually $1000. If I got a thousand dollars now, will I bury it simply because it wasn’t the same amount as the rest? Hell No. I will probably get pissed and jealous but burying it is the last thing I’ll do.
“Sir, I knew you were a hard man, and I was afraid you would rob me of what I earned, so I hid your money in the earth and here it is!” (Matt 25:24-25) This was the servant’s response when he was asked to give an account.
The master replied, “Wicked man! Lazy slave! Since you knew I would demand your profit, you should at least have put my money in the bank so I could have some interest”.(Matt 25:26)
The response of the master who represents God in the parable opened my eyes to the fact that God hates it so much when we are discontented over what he gives us and worse of lazy to use our gifts. He expects that no matter how little it is in our own eyes, we must put it into use. God loves productivity. If you are not interested in using what he has blessed you with; bless someone’s life with it or invest it somewhere fruitful. It laying idle is a sin. It’s more like every gift he gives us is a ticking time bomb, for every tick, he expects a little profit at least. Notice his reference to the bank and you know how small bank interest can be depending on the amount invested.
We Are Unequal in God’s Eyes– If you are one of those who think that God loves everyone equally then you are mistaken. Just like we are advised in Philippians 2:12 to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, we must also work out the level of love we want God to have for us. At the beginning of the parable, it was written that the master divided the money ‘in proportion to their abilities’. It is evident that the servant he gave five is his favorite, most hardworking, and loving servant who has overtime worked so hard to merit it. He is that servant you will call and without hesitation, he responds. God creating us is not enough to conclude that we are entitled to his blessings, we must work for it with faith, diligence, and obedience.
Why God Keeps Blessing Some People More– Have you noticed some people around you who keep having a lot of ‘Good Luck’ in their lives. No! A genie didn’t curse them with so much richness at birth but they choose to make use of what they have despite the challenges. And from there, one idea births several other ideas. Open doors galore…
After the confrontation with the servant who buried his talent, the master said “Take the money from this man and give it to the man with the $10,000. For the man who uses well what he is given shall be given more, and he shall have an abundance. But from the man who is unfaithful, even what little responsibility he has shall be taken from him.” (Matt 25:28-29)
God loves the one who is more hard-working. Judging the case for mere face value, one will assume that he will give it to the servant who made $4,000 (four talents) after all his is little, he can have that to make his half of the ten talent servant’s sum. But No, the one with $10,000 was blessed even more. This proves that God doesn’t delight in second best. Mediocrity is not an option. God loves to deal with the best winners.
It is imperative that I shared this revelation with you because I know that at this stage of your life, you’ve got so many questions to ask about your career path and what the future holds. I strongly believe this will go a long way in answering some of your questions.
While it is not wrong to pray to God to bless you with more, it is wrong to be unfaithful with the little things he has blessed you with. Do not fret, there’ll be more wins to come, you just play your part.