Judgmental Grace?


In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of a few men with varying talents (bags of gold):

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

I was thinking about this recently, and I realized that we often view this parable in terms of “God gave me 1 talent” or “God gave me 5 talents” with the focus being on what “God gave us.” I think a better way to understand Jesus’ intent is, how do we choose to invest what God has given us. Not long ago I lived a “1 talent” life.  I lived this Christian life in a minimalistic way. I did not dream big. I did not believe big. Perhaps I felt that was humility. As a result, I did not see a significant return on the Master’s investment.

When we see who we are in Christ, we can start to see that we all have vast talents. We can dream big, we can trust God to give us life, and to give it abundantly. We can take the abundance we are given and invest it in love into many lives. We can be partakers of the amazing things God is doing.

We are far too often deceived into believing the “small, humble life” is godliness. Sometimes what we call humility is really us living a 1 talent life because we fear that we might make a mistake, or that the “ruler” is going to beat us if we make a mistake. God wants us to step out in faith and invest big into His kingdom. That is what He commended. He has given the talents to us. He has given the resources and authority as well. Let’s go get a great return!

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