But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Mt 25:18, ESV)
When I read the parable of the talents, I never quite think of myself as the wicked and lazy servant who buried his talent in the ground. I was actively serving at church – it wasn’t like I wasn’t using the talents that God gave me! But there’s another way to bury our talents apart from not using them, and that is by being complacent.
Complacency is forgetting that these talents are not ours to keep, but talents given to us by our Master for His purpose. When God puts us in certain roles and gives us certain opportunities to serve, it is for a limited time. Although we may grow weary and find ourselves serving halfheartedly or out of habit after a while, we need to remember that we will not always have these opportunities. When the Master returns or as we age and meet unexpected changes in life, these talents and opportunities to serve may be taken away from us.
To avoid this unintentional burial of our God-given talents, we must be aware of the talents that God gave us and consciously seek opportunities to apply them. Just as the servants in the parable actively traded in the marketplace to turn a profit, we should proactively look for ways to improve our servitude. If we are constantly thinking about how to better use our talents and better serve in our current capacity, there is no way that God would not empower and enable us to do so.
Whether it is interpreting, teaching, writing, or other ministries, it is important that we set time in our calendars to review and examine where we can improve. If we are not already preparing in advance, then we must do so, renew ourselves through prayer, and familiarize ourselves with the words of God so we are ready to use our talents when called to. When we set the determination and resolve to keep the Master’s business as a priority in our heart and mind, we will find success and enter into the joy of our Master.
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Mt 25:23)