“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ – Matt. 25:21 NIV
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Jesus Christ, still on his mission of alerting his disciples in particular and humanity in general, and as a follow up to his parable of the ten virgins, gave another parable but this time was about a man who was about embarking on a journey and shared bags of gold amongst his three servants according to their ability. Whereas he gave one five bags of gold, he have the other two servants two bags and one bag of gold respectively, expecting them to trade with it so that on his return they will be able to declare profit for him – Matt. 25:14-15.
The servant with five bags did not disappoint in his assessment as he immediately went to work by investing his bags of gold with the sole aim of making profit and he did make profit that was twice his investment. The second servant too did not disappoint as he did similarly, and according to his capability by making 100% profit. The third servant however underperformed as he did not attempt to do any investment. The Bible noted that he dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money – Matt. 25:15-18.
The master did return after a while and asked that accounts be rendered. The first two servants rendered 100% performance and the scripture today was the response of Jesus Christ to the rendered account of the first and second servants. The response to the rendered account of the third servant was however very different as it was not just about the return on investment but the statement expressing his intentions. The two responses carry lots of lessons for the Christian today.
1. The response to the first two servants
a. Indicated that their performance earned them commendations from the master for a job well done.
b. Described them as faithful servants for acts of faithfulness to the course of their master. This they demonstrated by achieving the wish of their master, for which he gave them the bags of gold in the first place.
c. Indicated that their area of influence and authority was expanded. They witnessed growth in their career and amongst their peers.
d. Indicated that they were given access to the joy of their Master. Events causing sadness and sorrow had no access to them again as all around them gave them joy.
2. The response to the third servant was very different as it was more of a rebuke and punishment.
a. He was seen as wicked or how else will one consider someone who was calling him master but harboured such a negative view of him – Matt. 25;24-25. Many Christians operate in a similar manner today not just in their relationship with God but even in their relationship with fellow men. They verbally express one thing that is completely opposite of what they feel – Is. 29:13. It is until they are expected to act what they have been saying before it becomes clear that it has been deceit all the while. Such hypocrisy cannot be sustained for too long as it will eventually be revealed as what it is and will be punished. Are you sure you are not currently paying for that your deceitful act? You need to think and change if necessary.
b. He was seen as lazy. The truth is that lazy people always complain about being given the short end of the stick. His lazy attitude probably accounted for why he was given one bag in the first place as they were given the bags of gold according to their ability – Matt. 25:15. A lazy person is a very dangerous person to have around as he/she will always complain about the progress made by others and never see him/her self as the architect of his/her own misfortune. God can give you a seed but only your effort will plant it before God will grow it. Just as He will not give you a challenge that is more than you can cope (1Cor. 10:13), He will also not give you talent beyond what you can manage. Prove to Him that you can be entrusted with bigger things by being faithful in little and you can be sure He will respond positively to your desires – Lk. 16:10. God is not involved in philanthropy and His grace is not for show off. He gives it as an investment with the expectation of a profit and to whom He gives more, he expects more – Lk. 12:48.
c. He was deprived of what he thought he had. God remains a wise investor. His talents are given to only those who will trade efficiently with it and not those who will hide it away pretending to be concerned about not losing it. Take a risk with the talent He gave you and He it is that will let it produce result. All you have to do is put that seed in the soil and He will do the rest but He cannot multiply it in any other location and so it becomes a loss during harvest. In such scenarios, He will always take it and give it to more industrious people who have proven themselves.
d. He was thrown into darkness to experience weeping and gnashing of teeth. The repercussion of wasting God’s seed can be very grave. He not only takes the seed but also throws such individual into situations that is similar to been in darkness and the experience in such situations cannot be positive. It is better for you not to have the talent at all but the fact remains that everyone He has called has been given a talent, so it is already too late for you to tow that path of not wanting to be given. You have no choice than to be productive with it no matter how much you consider it as small. He gave you what he believes you can work with. Do not bring calamity on yourself by not been profit minded.
To be profit minded here means that you use your talent to bring more souls into his kingdom. Not doing so could just be why you are in that very terrible situation. Save yourself from God induced calamities. Use that talent well by bringing more souls into his Kingdom and in the process enjoy all the advantages that the two faithful servants enjoyed. May He grant you the grace to be successful in your divine task in Jesus name. Amen.