I’m sure most all of us know the parable of the talents, but for fun let’s review.

In this parable [Matthew 25:14-30] Jesus talks about stewardship of the gifts God has given all believers. In the story, the master was leaving on a journey and to one of his servants he gave 5 talents, to another 2 talents, and to another 1 talent according to their ability. A talent equaled about 75 pounds of coinage and was approximately 15 years of normal wages for one person. This was a crazy huge responsibility for each of the servants to bear.  When the master came back to settle accounts: The first two servants had put the money to good use doubling their amounts and were able to present the master with his principal and the additional profits. Yet the servant with one talent was afraid to use it and hid his master’s money.  The master then took this one talent and gave it to the servant who had ten talents.

What we learn through this story is simply this – Christ wants us to use the gifts He has provided to us, not to bury them. Spiritual gifts should be valued as gifts of God’s grace toward us. We are called to “bear much fruit” [John 15:8] that lasts, and our spiritual gifts play a significant role in doing that. The character in this story I personally tend to relate to and perhaps at times understand the most is the servant who hid their talent.

Can we pause a second – let’s just talk about how cool that the word ‘talent’ meaning a unit of measure in this parable means a gift or skill to us in our modern-day vernacular … God’s so smart!

So, about my friend who hid his (I’ll say her) talent. Before we get all holier than thou thinking, “yep, she should have done something with that talent”, how many have done, or are doing, the same thing?

Think about her looking at that talent and remembering what she read the night before one of the other tribe members posted on their instagram or facebook page about a new venture they were headed toward. She felt insecure and knew she could never measure up with her little talent and forgot all about the fact that the talent she had was just that – HER talent – given specifically in trust by her master. The talent was meant for her to use in a God preordained way. She got caught up in wondering how she would ever be as much or as successful or have as great an idea as the others. In the middle of her comparison, she was too lost to see how uniquely amazing she was and how beautifully her life already perfectly complimented her talent.

Any of this sound familiar?

Does to me. I’ve spent entirely too much time living in comparison convinced I could never be half as this or that as someone else. I could never do that job. I could never draw that well. Or paint like that. Or speak so eloquently. Or communicate so clearly. Or sing like her (really I can’t – singing: whooo, uhm NO!). I have spent so much time living in paralyzing fear of failing if I would even try to use the very things God gave me to use. In reality, that doesn’t even make sense. That sentence doesn’t compute when lined up with the biblical truths of how God created us.

We can’t even get out of the very first book of the bible without solid basis for believing God created us to be who we are. In Genesis 1:27, we are told: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” In HIS image – that’s pretty much saying your pattern was perfection. NICE!

Then flip a whole bunch of books over to the New Testament and see where Peter lays out exactly how God blessed each of us with our gift (talent). He says, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” [1 Peter 4:10]

God created us, blessed us with the specific, unique, quirky, silly, beautiful things he determined we would be. We need look no further than His word to find our worth and a relationship with Him to have our purpose. Seek Him for direction if you aren’t sure about your talent and then trust Him as you use that talent to further His kingdom. Your gift/talent may be the one thing that encourages the people around you most. And when you are scared (which, still, you will be), lean in to Him – a child of God fully reliant, surrendered and submitted to her creator brings nothing but all honor and glory to His name.

So, sweet friend, take your talent and do not be afraid. Do not hide it and remind me the same. Let us together wildly pour ourselves in the direction God leads. May we live confidently in the promise of serving Him always always yielding a high return.

In His Grip, Ashlee.

Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father God, We love and we thank you for creating us exactly as we are. Thank you for embedding a special gift or gifts in each of us that you predestined us to use for your kingdom. Give us the fortitude to seek those gifts out and the courage to pour them into furthering your mission. May we live with our eyes focused on you only looking side to side to encourage and build up our family in Christ.  We pray in Jesus name.  Amen

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