Five Lessons from the Parable of the Talents
Jesus gave a parable in Matthew 25:14-30 where he tells the story of 3 bags of gold, and the 3 employees he entrusted them to. This parable taught me important values I’ve learned to trust and lean on in the workplace. Looking at the first verse in the parable, verse 14, establishes the setting and relationship between the main characters (the boss and his employees). The boss was leaving for a certain time, the business needed to continue in his temporary absence, and he had chosen 3 of his employees to do important tasks.
The parable was based on 3 areas: Certainty, the boss knew his employees’ capabilities, hence the different measures of gold/talents. It was based on Confidence, the boss knew he could rely on them. It’s a relationship based on Trust, the boss knew his employees would not steal from him.
The parable builds to the great end where the boss exclaims “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, NIV). What a statement, WELL DONE! The job didn’t need any additional effort, it didn’t need any excess, everything was just at the right measure, well done.
What lessons can we learn from the Parable of the Talents?
- The value of hard work. It’s not a myth. There is great value in hard work. There is always the substantial return when you put honest hard work in the equation. The return may be in the form of tangible renumeration, gratification, skill improvement and experience. A great inspiration comes from Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.“. Determine to give it your all as it pleases God!
- The value of the investment. Treasure what is given you to begin the task. The reality is you have been entrusted with something of great value. Cherish it. Carefully consider what you need to do with it. Take the time to build a plan to use this investment that will result in bountiful returns. Seek God and “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3), then execute.
- The value of your relationship with the taskmaster. Remember to value your relationship with God more than anything else. More than the task, more than the investment, and yes, even more than the returns. God considers your relationship with Him as the most important of all. It is why He sent His Son, His begotten treasure. Nothing is more important than you’re relationship with HIM. This is your greatest reward, your immeasurable eternal return.
- The value of the task. Consider the lessons God has for you as you do the task. Never assume it is “just a task”. God is a purposeful God and every task He puts on you is given you for a specific reason. Every hurdle you need to pass builds you up for the greater one. Repeatedly in Matthew 25 the parable tells us “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” You start as the good person becoming the better, then the better person will soon become the best.
- The value of the reward. As you commit to the Lord’s tasks and harvest, God will reward your due diligence. Cherish the day the Lord tells you “Well DONE! Come and share your master’s happiness!” Key words we’d all love to hear when we meet Him face to face.