Use What You Have Been Given

If we are faithful to use what He gives us to the fullest, then we can trust that He will do beyond what we could ever imagine.
July 12, 2022

In college, I felt the Lord calling me to preach. However, I was terrified of public speaking. For years I ran from this precious calling that the Lord had put on my life, eager to do anything BUT preach the word of God in front of a group of people.

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells a parable in which He likens Himself to a master who goes on a journey. Before the master leaves, he entrusts his three servants with large sums of money known as “talents.” To the first servant, he gives five talents; to the second, he gives two, and to the third, he gives one. At first glance, this might seem unfair to the reader. Why the discrepancy between amounts? The reason for this is because the Master knows his servants intimately and gives to each of them according to his ability, just as a loving parent might assign a more challenging chore to one of their older children than they would to a younger one.

The first two servants joyfully take what they have been given and double their Master’s money. The third servant, however, buries what he is given out of laziness and fear of failure.

When the Master returns, he praises the first two servants for their faithfulness. He says that because they have been faithful with the little he left them, he will give them responsibility over much. In addition, he invites them to enter into his joy. They took what they were given, used it wisely, trusted in their Master’s goodness, and were blessed for their faith.

Then the third servant comes forward. Instead of taking responsibility for his lack of faith and action, he immediately casts blame for his laziness on his Master. The Master responds to his excuses with intense anger, calling him a “wicked and slothful servant.” After all, the very least he could have done was to invest the money and earn interest for his Master! The Master takes the money he had given the third servant and gives it to the first servant saying, “to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Then he throws the worthless servant into the outer darkness.

As believers, we should heed this instruction and warning seriously. While the parable that Jesus told used monetary gifts as an example, our Lord gives us resources that include money and much more: our time, gifts, and, yes, even our finances. What do we do with them? Do we “bury them?” Do we hold onto them for ourselves and our good? Do we seek our glory? Or do we take what the Lord gives us and purpose to use each dollar, each minute, each resource to the fullest for our Master’s glory out of love for Him?

As I shared above, I let many years go by, paralyzed in fear, allowing the gift and calling the Lord gave me to waste away. Like the third servant, I did nothing. By God’s grace alone, I learned that it is impossible to serve the Master with joy as we ought to when we aren’t entirely using the gifts He has given us. When God provides us with a resource or opportunity, we are not to waste it; instead, we should receive it and use it entirely for His glory. Praise God, He pursued me, making me miserable doing anything besides preaching until I submitted to His calling on my life with joy. A decade has passed since I started using what my Master, Jesus, has given me…my mouth to preach His word. What a privilege, opportunity, and JOY it is for me to preach His word! I’m so grateful that the Lord pursued me, refusing to let me get comfortable doing anything other than what He had called me to do.

As believers, when the Lord places something before us, we must receive it and use it to the fullest. We can trust that our Lord knows us each intimately and knows exactly what is best for us. Furthermore, we must not get caught up comparing ourselves or our “talents” to other believers. If we are faithful to use what He gives us to the fullest, then we can trust that He will do beyond what we could ever imagine.