In the parable of the talents – Matthew 25, verses 14:30 – three servants are given differing amounts of talents or money. Two take their talents and double their amounts. The third servant, who is afraid of the One who gave him the talent, buried his.
When the One who gave them their talents returns, He is pleased with those who have been good stewards of their talents and multiplied them. But to the servant who was afraid and did nothing with his talent, the One is angry with him and casts him into the outer darkness.
While this parable is often read as having to do with money, perhaps instead we can read it as having to do with other talents and gifts.
The church is made up of many varying levels of talents. Being a good steward of those talents/gifts is an important part of a healthy and vibrant church.
Too often we see churches where the pastor or the staff does everything. Members of the congregation become lax in the use of their own talents within the church or they move to some place that can use their gifts for the good of the community. Or, much like the third servant is fearful, members are afraid to use their talents.
However, members must play a role in the life of the church. They must be supported and allowed to use their talents and gifts to care for the community. Stewardship is about more than money and finances. It is also about the gifts God give to each of us to do good in the world.
Just as we will be called to answer for our lives, part of that judgement will be about how we used what God gave us to do God’s work in the world. The Church can be a place where people can come to be supported in their willingness to use their talents for good.
We must ask ourselves two questions every day: 1) Have we been good stewards of our talents in both senses of the word? 2) Does fear rule us and make it impossible for us to explore our talents?
Your response may help you use what God has provided you to do good in the world.