14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.
Jesus is using another parable to explain what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. Many of us know the parable of the talents and understand its implications. But have you ever paid attention to verse 15? We fail to recognize that God blesses us and gives us according to what we can handle at the time. Too often we get caught up in the envious practice of wanting more of this and more of that and think God is unfair because one person has more or less than we do. How many temper tantrums have you had with God because of His lack of trust in your abilities? He created you and knows your capabilities and limits. Consider what Paul wrote in Romans 12:
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Paul explains that we are all at different levels of faith and maturity in our relationship with God. Think of how weak the pinky finger is compared to the calf muscle, but remember that the pinky can do many things that the calf cannot. This is how we are created as part of one body. The pinky cannot be as strong as the calf for its size but the calf cannot demonstrate as much dexterity for its size either. So, as one body working together, each part does its job according to how it was formed and the body functions as it should. Does the pinky get jealous at the calf or vice versa? No, each part understands its role and performs it to the best of its ability. This is how we as a church body should operate.
But we don’t. We criticize one denomination for its lack of signs and wonders and another for its lack of doctrinal teaching. We shake our heads at a single mother for her lack of teaching her kids the gospel but she shakes her head at us for our lack of faith in God to provide for our family. We fail to remember that each of us have been created for special purposes and are given gifts and talents according the faith God has given us as part of His collective body. How selfish have we become?!? Instead of worrying about what we don’t have or what someone else should have, Jesus teaches us and Paul reminds us to focus on what we do have and to ask God what we should do with it. As Paul explains in verses 6-8 in Romans 12, whatever He has given us we should use to the best of our ability. We should above all be devoted to loving and helping one another in honor, prayerfully seeking how we can make a positive impact on the world around us. This is the purpose for which God has blessed us (or not blessed us) so that we can love each other well with what we have or don’t have.
How are you using what God has given you?