“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one…” (Matt. 25:15a, NKJV).
Holy Spirit was speaking to me about this story again today. This time, He shared with me a fascinating new angle of His perspective about it.
When we read this parable, we understand that the man with five talents was the one who received the most. He represents those people in our world that seem to have been dealt the most impressive “hand” from God in this life.
This “winning hand” could take the shape of greater advantages as the individual grows up: access to more wealth, better education, open doors of opportunity for advancement, and connections with influential trailblazers. Or it could mean having been naturally endowed with stunning intellectual genius, outstanding creative brilliance, remarkable leadership charisma, or a combination of these gifts.
Whatever shape it may have taken, the man with five talents had more than everyone else in the story. He was the guy that was easy to envy. He was the one that caused others to look discontentedly at the cards in their own hands, wishing for his.
This is what Holy Spirit pointed out to me about this man’s five talents. God categorized them as non-amazing. In commending the man’s faithfulness, notice that He did not say, “Wow, you are an impressive individual! I am blown away by your abilities! Staggered by what you have managed to accomplish!” Nope. Rather, His commendation was “You were loyal with small things” (Matt. 25:21, NCV, bold emphasis mine). The substantial hand dealt to this man may have seemed extraordinary to other humans, but to God, it was small.
After all, “Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift?” (1 Cor. 4:7, NCV). Whatever we have to offer in this life… it is a gift. We did nothing to come up with it. We have nothing to brag about.
For this reason, no matter who we are, our talents do not impress God. Neither to our accomplishments. Their quantity carries no weight with Him. What does draw His attention, however, is our wholehearted faithfulness.
It’s the way we pour out our everyday lives to Him in worship, giving to Him our very best, that gets written in His Book of Remembrance. It’s how we offer back to Him what He has so generously bestowed on us. Our loyal, devoted, minute-by-minute investment of the time He has granted to us here on earth into seeking what matters to Him – this captures His heart and causes it to overflow.
No matter if we have five talents, or two, or one, or sixty, or .003, Jesus is equally delighted when we are unreservedly faithful with the hand He entrusted to us. When we get up in the morning and offer Him the day ahead for the purposes of His heart, His heart swells up in joy. His lovely voice speaks into our spirits once again, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”
How does it feel to know that you can draw the full, overwhelmed attention of the Maker of the universe… with the simplicity and purity of your devotion… nothing more, and nothing less?