Just Use Your One Talent!
Matthew 25:24 – Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Matthew 25:25 – And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Hello readers, just use your one talent. You may have heard of the parable of the talents before. It’s in Matthew 25, and as always, it’s good to read it for yourself. It may not be as you remember, or how you remember, and you may just get something you never saw before out of it just by picking up your Bible and reading the word of God. It’s always best to read the Bible for yourself. Jesus often taught his disciples in parables. Parables are stories through which we understand truths taught in scripture. We tend to learn and understand things better when they’re put in picture form for us, and that’s what Jesus did many a time.
Basically put, in this parable, a man was travelling into a far country. But before he left, he called his servants in, and he made them all responsible for some of his goods. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one. They each had a different responsibility, and amount they were responsible for. But nonetheless, he left them each with an opportunity and the means to serve him while he’s gone.
So he’s given them something that they can turn into increase, into profit. Salvation is meant to be so much more than just getting out of hell. It’s meant to increase from a life of sin to forgiveness to a new life. There was a servant in this story who got given one talent. And he buried it. He did nothing with it. And when his lord came back, he just returned what his lord gave him. For many people, they’ll be returning the unanswered invitation to be saved. They did nothing with the gospel. They’ll be returning the blood of Christ shed for them, they’ll be returning the grace, mercy and longsuffering to God. They’ll have nothing to show for all that they’ve been given. This blog is about just use your one talent, but one talent in Bible times was still a lot. If you think God’s given you nothing, you still have far more than you deserve, and you will be accountable for what you did with what he gave you.
We can be profitable to God. And we should be. We are saved to be serve. See, in this parable, we want to look at ourselves. We will hone in on the servant who was given one talent, because that’s the bloke we tend to be most like. So many Christians today are unprofitable to society, to this world, to God. They’re good for nothing. This blog is about just use your one talent, even if you’ve just got one. You may feel you can do no good, or you’ve got nothing to give. But you do. Just use whatever God has given you. It’s not about comparing to others, it’s not about doing better, it’s about what did you do with what God gave you?
Something went so horribly wrong in this story. There’s a servant in here who goes from “given a talent” to “cast into hell”. He was given more than enough to work with and prosper, and instead he ends up with nothing. That’s pretty brutal. But it’s because he’s a wicked servant. I’ve got to thinking that maybe this servant’s poor attitude to his lord began with bitterness and resentment over only getting one talent… compared to the rest. Jealousy and envy are giant killers in Christianity. The others got more than him. So often instead of doing something with what God has given us, we instead hate him for what he hasn’t given us and what he’s given others. We are eaten up with jealousy, envy, bitterness and we’re not gonna do a thing with what we’ve been given.
Today we are going to see an example of a man who did use his one talent. Read 1 Kings 5, and you’ll read about a man called Hiram. He was king of Tyre. The Bible calls him “ever a lover of David”. And he asked Solomon, David’s son, how he could help Solomon when he had become king following David’s death. And he sends messengers to Solomon, how can I help? Well it turns out the Sidonians had a special skill in hewing timber. The timber was what Solomon needed for building God’s house. And with this talent, Hiram voluntarily supplied the labour and the wood to Solomon to help get God’s house get built. It’s a beautiful chapter in the Bible, it’s worth just reading for yourself. Getting God’s house built was Solomon’s number one priority, and the furtherance of God’s kingdom, telling people the gospel, seeing people be saved, honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ in our life… that’s what whatever talents we have are for. One or five, we have an opportunity, a gift from God, an opportunity to serve.
Just use your one talent. You don’t have anyone else’s expectations to meet other than the Lord’s expectation. You don’t need anyone else’s approval or validation. Stop worrying about others and get to serving God yourself. So many Christians get hung up on competitive Christianity. It’s a competition between who’s doing more, who’s better, who’s more right. But what matters is you doing something with the talent God has given you. What matters is obeying God in your own life with the ability, and skill and resources he’s given you. Many Christians start measuring their success against other’s success. How many soul’s you’ve won, how many doors you’ve knocked, how many people you’ve brought to church, how long your hair is, how you dress… and on and on. Instead of charity, it’s a competition. That’s exactly the context in which Paul penned 1 Corinthians 13, in a letter to a church divided, in strife, and competing with each other.
This servant wasn’t not given an ability to serve his lord. And it didn’t matter if he had achieved less. The guy with five talents brought in a bit more than the guy with two. But look what their lord said to them. Your success isn’t measured how you think. I’m reminded of 2 Samuel 18, when David numbered the people. Why did he do that? Well, he was trying to quantify success. See, the nation had flourished under his reign, and he wanted to put how good and successful he was into numbers. Those numbers reflected his success, they stoked his pride. He wanted to measure his success by population number.
Man, I’m a better Christian than everybody else! But he’d been given a bit more than some others hadn’t he. We’ve all been given a different lot in life, but in God’s economy the first shall be last and the last shall be first. God’s kingdom works a bit differently doesn’t it. And not everyone could be king or have the power he had. Was he more successful and better than other faithful men and women of God in Israel at the time? It’s like churches today that measure their success by attendance, by dollars, by popularity. I could try measuring the success of my blog by views, visitors, clicks, comments and so on. But the Bible talks about “supposing that gain is godliness”. I would be wrong, David was wrong, and what David did angered God greatly.
Success isn’t in how good you are. It’s not in souls you think you won. It’s not in doors knocked. It’s not in how you compare to others. It’s not in being better than others. Success is measured by obeying God in your life, obeying because you loved him and wanted to do it for his glory. It’s about his glory, he must increase and I must decrease. In Revelation they cast their crowns before him. When you think about using your one talent, it does come down to heart attitude. There are many “successful” Christians and churches which will have nothing to show at the day of judgment. It’s not about competing with others. Success is in being faithful to God. Did Paul feel better than the churches he wrote to? He’d won more people to Christ, he’d done more for God… and Paul wasn’t lifted with pride, he was filled with humility and thankfulness. Thank you God that you let me do this, that you let me play my part. It was all the grace of God.
God seems to be gone at the moment. It seems like we can do whatever we want. See, this servant served his lord while his lord was there. But when his lord went away, he didn’t serve him. In Jesus Christ leaving us, he’s proving what’s really in our hearts. While he’s away, while we don’t see him, what is actually real? Many people are emboldened to forget and forsake and depart because he’s away. There are many Christians who are only Christians at certain times, in certain seasons, in certain places. Are you faithful while your Lord is away?
I’m trying to not get sidetracked, but in just using your one talent, you do have to deal with the fact of jealousy, envy, looking at others. We tend to gauge our success by how we are performing based on other’s expectations, or based on how other people are going… instead of what we’re doing with what God gave us. How do you measure success? Was this servant doomed from the start being given less? How far can one talent go? I did have the thought that maybe this servant was given less because he was the guy who was slack on the job. Maybe his lord didn’t think he could be trusted with more. If you are faithful in little, God will give you more. But can you be faithful with little? And little is much, when God is in it. They said to David, just one man, thou art worth ten thousand of us. How does that math work out?
What is “talent” anyway? Well, Webster’s 1828 dictionary refers to talent as “skill, eminent ability, natural gift or endowment, superior genius”. But we know also that the word “talent” is used as a measurement of wealth… money. It was a large unit of currency, having talents of money or precious metals meant you were rich. Of course, I am today considering talent more in terms as a gift, ability or opportunity that God has given you and I in life today. Have you ever wondered what your talent is? Where do you fit in life? What can you do? What do you have to do something with? What are you capable of?
You may think you’re not very talented. Maybe you think one talent isn’t much or not enough. Or it’s not as much as others. But as already stated, one talent was actually quite a bit still. The remarkable thing is, we are all quick to look at why we can’t serve God with what we’ve got and what he’s given us, than look at what we’ve got as an opportunity and ability to serve him. We think… I’m not talented enough, I don’t have the ability. I can’t do this. One talent isn’t enough. And furthermore, why did God only give me one. Why do others have seem to have so much more. Why do others have better? Why do others have a better deal from God?
And that’s a slight against God on our part isn’t it. We get ungrateful and unthankful instead of getting to work because we start comparing with others and finding fault in God. If you’ve read the parable in full, look at what the servant with one talent said to his lord when he came back. What was he thinking talking to his lord like that? He had a terrible attitude towards his lord. He’s given a talent, but calls his lord a hard man? He doesn’t want to work because his lord will be the one who benefits, because it’s not his talent, but his lord’s talent… that’s why he hides it. Yeah no interested in making profit or using that. Once it’s God’s property, God’s business, we ain’t interested. I don’t want to do your work and get your profits. I don’t want to be profitable to you. But he’s the servant, that’s his job! Isn’t that what a servant does? What kind of a servant is that?
He doesn’t want to serve his lord. That’s why he’s wicked. He’s employed to do a job, and doesn’t want to do that job. He doesn’t want to do it for him. He doesn’t like him or love him or appreciate him. When you think about it, he’s like a lot of Christians today, and explains why Christians are like they are. So many Christians claim to be saved, but live like they’re anything but. God’s not enough reason for them to quit sinning. God’s not enough reason for them to serve him. He’s the hard man to them. And they call themselves servants of God, but they don’t want to serve him, they don’t want to do anything for him at all. They’re servants in name, but not in heart and not in deed. Shouldn’t it be enough for us to do it for him, because it’s him? But because it was him was the reason that the servant did nothing with his talent.
Maybe you’re disgruntled with your talent. You feel God hasn’t given you ability and resources in which to serve him. Or maybe you just refuse to serve him. You deem him unworthy of your service. He’s unworthy of your time, your love, your sacrifice, your respect. He gives you the talent, and you give him that. Where’s the Hiram spirit? He rejoiced in seeing Solomon increase, he rejoiced in being able to contribute to building God’s house. All he got to do was deal in timber, but he was happy to do it.
How many people have buried our talent. We won’t use what he’s given us to serve him. And he’s away at the moment. But you don’t realize it’ll be payday someday. Have you buried your talent? You’ve buried God in your mind. You’ve buried God in your life. You’ve got a poor attitude to God, you’ve got the wrong view of God, you don’t know who you’re dealing with. It’s not because he’s bad, it’s because you’re wicked. And you don’t realize the judgment and wrath that is coming to you. You will be accountable to God for what he gave you.
For many people, God offers them salvation, but for many it will be a buried talent. They did nothing with it. They did nothing with forgiveness. They did nothing with atonement. They did nothing with redemption. They did nothing with the blood of Christ. They did nothing with the power, the grace, the love, the mercy that was given to them. They buried it all because he’s not worth it. He’s not worthy of your time, respect, honour and service.
I’m convinced this servant isn’t a saved person who’s lost his salvation… you can’t get unsaved if you’ve been saved. Many people wrongly twist this story. He was a servant in name, but not in heart. Anyone can be a servant of God, but just because you’re a servant doesn’t make you saved. There’s plenty of people in the ministry, like Judas Iscariot, who in the end will be cast out. There’s plenty of people in the ministry who aren’t interested in obeying and honoring and serving God. See, they’re not interested in profiting HIM. They’re about themselves. They don’t think he’s worthy. They don’t even know who he truly is. They’re servants who aren’t interested in actually serving God. That’s why they buck at God’s word, at truth, at righteousness. This servant didn’t even fear his lord. Imagine saying that to the guy that can chuck you in hell? People don’t fear God. Lack of fear of God betrays many a false profession.
So where are you at? Are you overtaken by unthankfulness? You’re not thankful for your lot, your opportunity, your placement, your life, your talent. Do you think God is worth your service? Do you call him Lord, but that’s as far as your servitude goes? Are you too busy to serve him? You’ve buried his business, and you’ve got on with your business… while the cat’s away, the mice will play right. Maybe you’re resentful you’ve “only” got one talent. Others got more than you. But maybe you just think you can’t do it. But when you tell God you can’t do it… you’re telling God “God, you didn’t give me any talents to serve you with”. Is that true? You got at least one didn’t you? I’m reminded of people like Moses and Gideon in the Bible. God called them, and they were quick to make excuses why they couldn’t do what God had told them to do. Indeed, God got angry at Moses because Moses was saying… I can’t speak. Maybe you never have told anyone the gospel, because apparently God didn’t give you an ability to speak.
It’s going to be pretty bad for you in the day of judgment when you give back all that God gave you with no increase, nothing to show for it and with a lame self justification and an accusation against God. It’s just not going to hold up. God thanks for the ability, thank you that you gave it to me, but I’m going to return it to you having done nothing with it. You can have it back as is. So no thanks. I’m not interested in doing it for you, in serving you. I don’t think you’re worth it. I don’t think you’re worthy of my time an effort. I’m not interested in profiting you. I’m not interested in your work and your business. Sometimes I’ve struggled to see how this servant was so wicked as his lord said he was, but the more I thought about it, the more home truths started to hit me.
Today, we have all been given the opportunity to be saved and to serve God. Many people have just buried that in earth though. They’re caught up in this world, and doing their own thing in life. They’re not heavenly minded, they’re earthly minded. Many people accuse God of being a hard man. Was he that hard in this parable? He gave this servant a talent, he gave him responsibility and opportunity in life. That doesn’t seem so hard. But this servant didn’t believe his lord deserved to reap where he hadn’t sowed. He didn’t want to make a profit for his lord, he wanted it for himself. Selfish. Often our service to God really is just about me, myself and I. There are tons of ministries like that. They’ve got more leprosy on them than Gehazi.
Here’s what he said that perhaps rings the most true for all of us. “I was afraid”. How often fear stops us using our talents for God’s glory and in his service. How often fear wins. But it was a lame excuse. What was he afraid of? He wasn’t afraid of his lord. It was just an excuse not to do anything. Look, fear is real, but perfect love casts out fear. If we loved God, the fear would be gone. Usually we are so injected with fear because our love for God has gone so cold as we’ve pursued yet another day, week, month and year of sin. That talent wasn’t meant to be hidden. It wasn’t meant to be buried. If you’re a Christian, you are meant to be the light of the world. You’re not meant to hide your light.
But then I was reading 1 Kings 5 today, and funnily enough, it really fit in so perfectly with this blog. King Solomon has just become king. He’s come to power, and he wants to honour God first and foremost. Hiram, king of Tyre loved his dad, and wants to help his son. That’s why he sends his messengers. Find out what I can do for Solomon. How can I help? Can I be of service? What was in it for Hiram? He gets to help build the temple of God. He gets to be a help. He gets to show he loved David. Because David’s worth it, because Solomon’s worth it, because God’s worth it. He’s worth my time, my energy, my skill, my timber.
I just couldn’t believe it when I read it, because it’s a chapter I’ve rarely read. It just so happens that the Sidonians have one talent that is so incredibly helpful to Solomon. He needs lumber! He needs big cedars. He needs some skilled laborers. He needs people that know what they’re doing. That can be you today. You surely have one talent… at least one. The Sidonians had a skill directly applicable to building God’s house. So do you. They were experts in cutting down and transporting big old trees. Mighty firs and cedars. They had the talent, the ability, the knowhow. Solomon recognizes how they can help, yeah you can help Hiram! I could sure use your help and your talent, it’s for God! The Lord God of Israel. One skill, one talent, big deal you might say… lopping trees. But what an increase… God’s house was built. You’ll be surprise what God builds from you just simply wanting to use your talents to serve him.
You can be cast out or part of God’s work, and God’s kingdom. It is your choice. You don’t lack for talent. You aren’t wanting for opportunity, for ability, for light. Hiram wasn’t even a Jew… he hadn’t been given what this servant in the story had. He didn’t have a rich ancestry of godly parents, he wasn’t in a country that served God. He didn’t have to help. He could’ve been jealous of Solomon. He could’ve gone to war with him instead. He could’ve not wanted Solomon to succeed. He could’ve gone after the gods of the Sidonians… they had many. But instead he sends messengers and he volunteers his men, his ships, his time, his trees… all to help out the son of David. He was part of the work, he helped build God’s house. You can be a Hiram, or you can be this servant with one big buried, hidden talent. God is worth it, he’s worth your time, your praise, your worship, your life. Don’t return all his grace and mercy to you unused, uninvested and uninterested. That’s what this servant did. That’s the worst thing you’ll ever do. He’s better to you than you are to him. You’ve got at least one, just use your one talent.
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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