What Did You Do With The Talent: A Lesson In Stewardship

Matthew 25:14-30 is an excellent narrative about stewardship. The cast includes 3 servants, one of whom was slothful, lazy and ungrateful, and their master. Every story calls for you to pay attention to detail – making comparisons and contrasts; listening to tone and mood; examining characters; understanding context etc. In this particular story, there is, for me two striking characters: the master and the slothful servant (the one who received one talent). A talent was silver (money) which weighed between 58 to 80 pounds, so the master was entrusting his servants with quite considerable money. This was the kind of money you would entrust to a trusted relative or friend, not a servant.

The other two servants were faithful but there was one who wasn’t, that is, the one who received 1 talent or 80lbs of silver. Here is something about that servant that angered the master. He was selfish. Selfishness is the biggest hindrance to proper stewardship. One cannot be a good steward and seek self-interest at the same time. That third servant had reasoned that the master might not be returning. So, he kept the money. If the master returned, he could simply return the money without loss from a bad investment (verse 25) but if not he gets to keep it for himself. He did not want to deposit it in the bank because he would have to record it as belonging to the master and could not keep it if the master did not return (verse 27). His reasoning exposed his heart of selfishness and a lack of faith in his master in his master. He proved to be a worthless servant because of this. He perhaps was even comparing what the others got to what he got instead of being grateful that the master place confidence in him in the first place to have given him so much money as a servant/slave.
The master on the other hand demonstrates that he is a fair judge. Those who did not think about themselves and how they could profit off him, were rewarded for their selflessness. And the one who was selfish was not only not rewarded but he was stripped.

The lesson for us today is to serve without seeking our own interest. To serve gladly and willingly. To serve God, not out of compulsion but from a heart of gratitude for what He has entrusted you with.

2 thoughts on “What Did You Do With The Talent: A Lesson In Stewardship

  1. Although that servant was driven by so many vices, he did not know his Master. If he did he would have gladly invested
    / multiply what was placed in his hands with the knowledge that his Master rewards faithfulness and so he would benefit. Thats not to say wrong motives justify outcome. Sometimes we have to look beyond the motives. In Phillipians 1 Paul rejoiced that Christ was being preached although some persons did so from ulterior motives.
    Another lesson, its important to know the Master.

    • Thank you for your response, Antoinette. Certainly, the slothful servant did not know his master. If he had kno him he would have trusted him. Similarly, a knowledge of God leads us to trust that whatever He does is for our good. I depart from you a bit with “looking beyond the motives” for it is motives that determine the sincerity of our service. Doing it simply for the reward, is something we must guard against. Our service must always be in RESPONSE to that which he has already done – entrusted us with the gift of salvation (and all the benefits that have already come with that).

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