For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one gave five talents, to another, two, to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.
I grow troubled by those whose theology does not allow what Jesus says in this parable to really be true. There are some who don’t see the freedom in this parable. There are some who suggest that we are nothing but automatons, doing what God has preprogrammed for us to do. This is not what this parable teaches. God has given you life and has given you huge assets of His to invest and glorify Him with. He has given you freedom to invest it in whatever way you want. He has a plan but He does not demand that you do it His way. God has given you a field to operate in. You can farm it, you can build apartment buildings, you can build office buildings, you can put a business on it, you can leave it exactly the way you got it, you can raise cattle on it, you can plant fruit trees, etc. The point is that it is up to you what you do with the field, but you need to do something with the field that makes the field more profitable than when you received it. Does your life reflect this understanding?
What are you going to do with the one and only life God gave you?
God is delaying His return and asking us to accomplish for Him productive and profitable things – things that will glorify Him and things that will win more people to allegiance to Him. He wants more returned to Him than what He gave us to start with. He is like an investor. Here is this amount of money; I want more returned to me than I gave you. Each job you have been given is a trust from God. At its conclusion, one should be able to point to a body of work that has increased the glory of God in the world. It is ours to accomplish.
This parable says so many things. We are not robots following some preselected script but free agents within the world He placed us in – able to think, act, and change to maximize profits in that world. We may not be able to change worlds, but we can change the world we are in.
We are responsible for what we do with the abilities, opportunities, and resources that God gives to us. We cannot shrink away from the responsibility to live a full life. Not everyone has the same opportunities or the same abilities, but everyone will have to give an account for how they spent their life. Did your life return a profit to God for the investment that He made in you?
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.