Parable of the Talents
Reading The Parable of the Talents in Matthew's Gospel 25: 14-30 KJV it is revealed that whilst one person is no better or more important to God than another, an individual might possess greater natural ability and Christ clearly shows that the greater the innate capacity of a person, the greater the gifts that are given and greater therefore is the responsibility.
With God's gifts it is not so much how much talent one has, but how that talent is used that is important. It is not how many gifts God gives to a person, it is what that person does with them. That is why Christ shows an equality of reward between the person with five talents and the one with two. In the parable both increased an equal amount, 100%, and they were rewarded, as it were, equally, and this is an important point in the parable.
All spiritual talents belong to God and they are His to give to whoever He wills. We do not naturally have these gifts, they are not things we possess by nature but they are Christ's which He gives to us to use. The apostle Paul mentions quite a few of them in I Corinthians 12: such as miracles, knowledge, faith, healing, wisdom, preaching, prophecy, the discerning of spirits, speaking in and interpreting tongues, but there are other natural talents that are still a gift from God. We are not naturally endowed with any of them. Some folk have more than others and many receive perhaps one or two. Despite whether we have one, two or five, everyone is responsible for using their gift or gifts which belong to Christ and lent by Him to us to serve Him, and our task is to grow them.
God judges us according to how we use and develop our abilities. He is the only one qualified to measure whether we are using and increasing our gifts, or whether we are hiding and squandering that which He has made available to us. Whatever our limitations we must accept them and not struggle against them; neither should we covet any gift not made available to us. God wants us simply to use whatever we have been given to the best of our ability as their proper use will cause them to increase in His service and to our advantage.
We should not forget that God will reward us equal to our growth. He holds us responsible only for developing that which we have been given, If God gave us one gift, whatever it is, we should strive to double it. Doing that, we will succeed, in the same way and to the same extent that the person who was given five gifts and doubles them, succeeds. There is no difference in God's eyes. All God requires is for someone to faithfully use and develop their gift. It matters not whether we have been given one, two, five or ten gifts as they are given according to our natural ability.
The main point of the parable is about him who buried and hid his talent. The one talent had been given him to use and to make more of for his master, and so that is what we must do. If we use the gift or gifts that God has given us we cannot lose. The one who was punished hid his gift in the ground and never even tried, so God called him wicked and lazy. The inactivity regarding his spiritual asset, his talent, doomed him. This man failed because he thought it was too difficult, too embarrassing or not worth bothering with. He defended himself with the words "Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed." And so the wicked servant justifies his lack of spiritual increase by blaming it on God, claiming it was too burdensome. He accuses God of abusing His power by demanding too much of him. That is why Christ calls him wicked. If he worked, the man says, he would see little or none of the profit, and if he failed, he believed he'd get nothing but his master's anger. The master then asks, not unreasonably, "Why didn't you at least invest my money [gift] so that I could receive interest?" The servant, in a vain attempt to justify his actions and out of fear realized too late that he had overlooked his responsibility to discharge his duty whilst his master was away, to even the smallest degree.
John Donne wrote 'No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.' By blaming his master and excusing himself, this servant with the one talent fell foul of the temptations of resentment, idleness and fear. Together, they are fearful companions. From this parable we begin to understand our interdependence one upon another. The body of Christ needs those with few gifts no less than those who have many. Great cathedrals would never have been built for use by Popes and Archbishops without the constructors talent of the humble stonemason.
We must be constantly learning, growing, carrying out our responsibilities and developing the resources that God entrusts to us until He returns to settle accounts. The important thing is that we continue to use the gifts He has given us throughout our lives for the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ and the benefit of others.
Never forget God's condemnation of the Church of Laodicea in Revelation 3: 14-22 for it's 'lukewarm' approach. He spit them out of His mouth. This is what He will do to all those of us who fail to use in His service even the one talent we have been given to the best of our ability and to the end of our lives.
Whether we empty trash cans or lead some world wide religion we must always use the gifts given to us to do our work to the Glory of God and if we do our work well then the reward in heaven will be the same for God has no favourites.