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WHICH SERVANT ARE YOU?

From The Heart

Publish date: 01/15/2006

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them. 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them. 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-30 NKJV

The master in this story goes on a long journey leaving his servants in charge of His goods and affairs. He gives one servant five talents, another two talents and the third, one talent. He gave them talents according to their abilities. Obviously the two, who received five and two talents, respectively had already shown themselves responsible and faithful in the past, but this was the first opportunity of the one who received one talent to prove himself and show what he was made of. The master leaves and immediately the servants spring into action—the first two servants begin to trade with their talents, but the third runs to bury his.

When the master returns he asks for an accounting and is happy to hear that the servant with five talents has doubled his investment and now has ten talents and the servant with two talents has also doubled his investment and now has four talents. However, when he hears what the third servant has to say, he is furious! Not only did the servant do nothing with the one talent he was given, but the first words out of his mouth contain both excuses for himself and blame and insults for his master! He has the audacity to say to his master, "Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours."

He calls his master a hard and harsh man (Amplified) and claims to be "afraid" of him. So now it is the master’s fault that he was fearful and lazy and wasted his talent! This statement speaks volumes—not about the character of the master, but of the character, attitude, and perspective of the servant. The fault was not in the master’s character, but in the character of the servant. The master was a fair man, who rejoiced in his servants’ success, as we can see from the way he rewarded them. If he was an unfair man, he would not have given them the talents in the first place, but expected them to find their own talents and he certainly would not have shown appreciation for their efforts. He would have only expected results for no reward. The third servant was just that—a servant—not a slave. If the master was so bad, why didn’t he get a job somewhere else? The master did not need to give him any talents when he left—the master was giving him an opportunity for a promotion and he blew it!

The third servant was wicked and lazy, blaming others for his failures. Basically, he was just a liar—he did not have the guts to tell the truth and take responsibility for his own poor administration of his talent. If he was too afraid to risk the talent, he should have at least "buried" the money in the bank, so that his master could receive his money back with interest. He was unfaithful—if you can’t be faithful with that which is another man’s, who will give you that which is yours (Luke 16:12)? He was a procrastinator; he made excuses instead of owning up and apologizing; he was fearful and selfish; he was unproductive; he was earning a paycheck that he did not work for—he did not do even the minimum that was required of him; he was slack and sloppy with his master’s property; he was disloyal; he expected a reward for no effort on his part!

There is no excuse for what he did with his one talent and his punishment was appropriate, just as the reward was appropriate for the other two servants. With all this in mind, and knowing that Jesus is your Lord and Master and will one day ask you to give Him an account of your talents, the question you need to ask yourself now is, "Which servant am I?"

 

 

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