red poppy in grass

You are probably familiar with this parable from the New Testament. (Matthew 25) The wealthy man is going on a journey and entrusts his money to three of his servants. To one, he gives five bags of money, to another two bags, and to a third, he gives only one bag.

When the master returns and asks for an accounting, the first invested his five bags of money and returned to his master the original five plus five more. The man with two bags of gold did the same, returning the original plus two more.

The first two are praised for their wise investments of the master’s money.

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Matthew 25:21

The third, who only had one bag, returned the original bag. The servant was so afraid of losing the one bag that he buried it in the ground. The master called him wicked and lazy and dealt harshly with him.

I love that the original KJV uses the word “talents” to describe the money entrusted to these three. A talent was a coin, but it speaks an interesting message for us today.

God entrusts all of us with different gifts, talents! We all have talents and abilities given to us by God. But what captured my attention was in verse 15.

To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.

Matthew 25:15 NIV

When the bags of money, the talents, were being distributed, the master determined the amount to be entrusted to them “ each according to his ability.”

I humbly assert that I have the same gifts and talents as some of the most well-known Christian female speakers and writers of our day. Still, God never expected me to publish half a dozen books and multimedia Bible studies or fill stadiums with people who would pay to hear me speak.

He did, however, expect me to do what I could with what he had given me in my sphere of influence. Fear of failure, false modesty, and excuses won’t change that we were each given gifts for the edification and support of the family of believers. We are to do what we can, even in small measure, to use the gifts God has given us, each according to their ability.

Long before I wrote a book, prepared retreat messages, or wrote a blog, I sent letters of encouragement and edification to friends who were struggling. I sought out women in my church or my community who were struggling to see if I could share a Bible verse to encourage them.

Gifts need not be strictly spiritual. Take a closer look at Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and Corinthians 12. There are practical gifts of administration, hospitality, service, and giving.

I am a firm believer that God “funnels” money through people to whom he has given the gift of giving.

The more money they have, the more ways they find to give it away to serve God, the church, and the body. So God keeps giving them more.

When God funnels through us gifts of wisdom, discernment, knowledge, mercy, and encouragement, like those with the practical gift of giving, we can’t wait to find more ways to give it away! When we do, God increases our gifts!

Others are called to use their gifts to serve as missionaries, pastors, teachers, and leaders. I recently came to the conclusion that although I have leadership ability and I am technically ordained, I have no desire to be a pastor or to hold an official leadership position. However, I consider myself a shepherdess, caring for the little flock God has given into my care. Perhaps you are too.

My granddaughter Grace is 12 years old. She is a tender-hearted girl and sensitive to criticism. She is also a fantastic dancer, particularly in ballet. When someone in her ballet class did something that upset and discouraged her, we told her never to let anyone or anything steal from her the precious gift God gave her. For a girl who worries too much about everything, ballet is her happy place. It is God’s gift to her. Her ability makes others happy, so it is also her gift to others.

Satan would use anyone and anything to divert and destroy your gift. Don’t let him!

ballet on dirt road

Keep on dancing, Gracie!

Exhortation and encouragement are some of my gifts, and I am doing my best not to bury them in the ground, even when I am afraid. How about you? What talent has God bestowed upon you? Are you using your gifts to serve the body of Christ? Or, do you measure your gifting against what others can do and hold back your gift? Are you so afraid of failure, of rejection, that you bury your gifts in the ground?

Take heart! God is calling you to rise up today and do something productive with the gift he has given you. Don’t let fear of failure or other’s unkind words and actions steal from you the gift God gave to bless you and to bless others around you.

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4 Comments

  1. Great word Kathie, loved it!

  2. Thank you for this message. I do sometimes put my talent away because of fear. This reminds me that my talent is from God and he will use it to do good through me. All he wants is for me to listen and try.

  3. Using your talents wisely! Amen sister! You do!

    Gifts talents and abilities that are God given to be used for His glory is a huge blessing in return. If we don’t use them and freely give them they grow stagnant.

    In the mean time, stuck here at home with Dad…. I’m doing what I can, and would sure like to do more! Yes, I’m one of those givers, and I give as I am able. Encourage as I feel led, text messages, emails, cards and letters.

    Love you!

  4. A wonderful reminder that God gifted us with gifts that are to be shared to grow His kingdom. We all have a part – big or small it will make a difference! Thank you, Kathie💗

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