The Parable of the Talents is found in Matthew 25:14-30. You’ve probably heard it or read it. Mostly it’s about stewardship of money and other things that are in your hands. But today when I was listening to Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger I had a different perspective on it.
This “unprofitable” servant looked around and could plainly see the gifts and abilities in others. But either could not see them in himself, or felt he was inferior to those already using talents similar to his.
Maybe he had a brilliant business idea, but had seen others around him fail. So he hid the talent.
Maybe he was an artist and wanted to invest in a creative venture, but feared failure. So he hid the talent rather than lose it.
Maybe he was a writer and wanted to use it to publish his book, but feared failure. So he hid the talent.
Maybe he had failed before and didn’t want to fail again. So he hid the talent.
Maybe no one believed in him before the master did. So he didn’t believe in himself, and buried the talent deep.
Maybe people told him he was stupid and his ideas were stupid. So he didn’t even try, he buried his talent.
Here’s the Parable of the Talents in the Message translation:
“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. (MSG)
Don’t be like the unprofitable servant and bury your gifts, talents, and abilities. Take a risk. Try. Believe in yourself. Come out of hiding!