The key to this post lies in the introductory clause of my previous post. I started writing this blog four years ago. Four — 4 — yearrrrs ago. I should be done by now, at least with the memoir part. I’ve stopped and restarted for three reasons:
- I don’t like thinking about all the bad things that have happened to me since childhood;
- Bad things continue to happen to me so frequently that sometimes I don’t know where to begin; and
- I know God allows me to go through things so that I will write about them, and sometimes that makes me angry — and angry writing is never good writing.
That being said, God gives us gifts and talents, such as writing, for a reason. So, if you were to ask why God allowed me to become homeless last year, I would point to the following excerpt from a Darrell Scott sermon as reason No. 2.
Why God Gives Us Gifts and Talents
[Your gifts and talents are] given to you in order for you to be able to bless God, and they’re given to you so that you can be able to be blessed by God, and they’re given to you so that you can be or become a blessing to others.
Where the Subject of Gifts and Talents Appears in the Bible
The first idea I would like to present to you [is] from the 25th chapter of the book of Matthew … You have three servants. Three average, ordinary, nondescript, non-distinct servants who were summoned by their master – he called them into his presence, he bestowed talents to them. This was a defining moment in their lives. It was a moment that determined … the quality of the rest of their lives. And so, the symbolism of this parable presents the fact that God has given talents to each and every single one of us.
What Is a Talent?
Now, the direct meaning of talent (with regard to this parable) – the direct meaning of it … is money. A very large sum of money. In fact, the talent was the largest or heaviest unit of measurement for weight. So, a talent was equal to about 75 pounds. A person who possessed five talents or 375 pounds of gold was a multimillionaire by today’s standards. One talent of gold by today’s standards is worth approximately $1.4 million. One talent of silver is worth almost $19,000. And so, the point is that the talents that the master distributed to the servant had a very significant amount of value to them. They were not cheap. They were not worthless. He gave them something that had value. … God gave you something when he created you that had value, or has value.
Now in today’s society, the word talent has been redefined. … It’s been redefined as a person’s aptitudes or a person’s capabilities or a person’s potentialities. … They’re talented. … The talents were given by the master. He gave them the talent. The capabilities, the aptitudes, the potentialities were given to the servants by the master. It is imperative, then, that one discovers the talents and the capabilities that they have been given so you are able to plan out your life according to the capabilities and the abilities that you possess. …
The Use-It-or-Lose-It Theory
Notice, now, in Matthew chapter 25, the parable ends by saying that the man that already has will receive more, while the man who has not will lose the little that he has. In other words, at the end of this parable, what is being said is that the rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer. … The rich will get richer [and] the poor will get poorer if they continue the way that they’ve been proceeding. The rich will get richer [and] the poor will get poorer if they keep doing what it is they’ve been doing that got them in the position and the condition that they were in. …
In Matthew 25:16, it says the one who received five talents went. And according to Weymouth’s translation [of the Bible], that Greek word for went means “without delay” or “immediately.” So the one who received five talents immediately traded or engaged in business – began to conduct business and he doubled what he began with.
Likewise, it goes on to say the one who had a lesser amount – two talents – immediately, as soon as they got it, without delay, they engaged and employed what they had in business.
In other words, the moment they got this, they embarked upon a plan. I have a plan to double this money. I have a plan to increase what I have.
Now, immediately [and] without delay means they both took what their master had given them and instantly they set out to maximize it with enthusiasm. [T]hey were so glad to receive what they had been given that they immediately went to work with it. They didn’t take it for granted, they didn’t look at it, they didn’t feel good about it, they didn’t tweet it, they didn’t post it, they went straight to work with it. In other words, what did they do? They made the most of the opportunity that had been given to them.
Why the Servants Were Given Different Amounts of Talents
Another thing that stands out in this parable – notice this: the servants were all given different amounts. Each was given an amount to suit their ability. … The amplified version says he gave them talents according to their personal ability. The Bible says, “He knows how much we can bear.” … They were given talents, they were given amounts to suit their individual personal abilities and capabilities. Now what does this mean? It means they were not commanded, they were not demanded, they were not required to do anything that they were unable to do. He gave them talents based on their abilities. He wasn’t asking them to do something that they were incapable of doing. But he only required them to do what they were able to do.