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When We Give The Gifts We've Been Given

By Andrea Lucado

 

During this series on giving, we’ve talked about giving time and giving money. Now let’s spend some time talking about giving our talents and our gifts.

 

Scripture speaks to this specifically when Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. The word “talents” here does not mean what it does for us today—a skill or something you’re good at doing. A talent during this time was a sum of money, but it still relates directly to talents as we see them today.

 

In the story, a man who was about to go on a journey distributed his talents to the men who worked for him. To one servant, he gave five talents. To another, two. And to another, one. While he was away, two of the servants invested their talents, making back double what had been given them. But the servant who had been given one talent simply buried it, earning nothing.

 

The man was not happy with this last servant, saying, “You wicked, lazy servant!...you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest” (Matt. 25:26-27).

 

We have been given gifts by God. We can either squander them, like the last servant, or we can use them, like the first two servants. How are we to use our gifts? I think this might be answered in the next verses.

 

Jesus goes on to talk about how the world will be judged when the Son of Man comes.  Much like the man in the Parable of the Talents, he says:

 

All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matt. 25:32-36).

 

Who receives an inheritance from God? Those who feed the hungry. Those who give drink to the thirsty. Those who invite the stranger. Those who give clothes to the ones who have none. Those who look after the sick. Those who look after the prisoner.

 

When we use our gifts to serve God’s people, we are making an investment. We are not burying our talents, we are multiplying them, for so many are benefiting from what we are giving.

 

What gift or talent do you have that you could use to serve others? If you have money, you can give it. If you have a skill, you could make something with it. If you have kindness and compassion, you can share them.

 

Maybe you’re not sure where to start. You have a talent, but you are afraid to share it. Start small. As God told the faithful servants, “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matt. 25:23). Be faithful with just a few things and let God do the rest. You don’t have to change the world. Only God can do that anyway, but He can use you as He does.

 

Greater Than Gold is committed to using our talents to serve prisoners in the U.S. as well as missions abroad. To learn how you can join us, visit our website here.