“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” –2 Corinthians 9:10-11, NKJV
“So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming, I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” -Matthew 25: 27-29, NKJV
I love the Parable of the Talents because the Lord was just as pleased with the servant who started with five talents who doubled his gift as he was with the servant who started with two talents and doubled his gift as well.
He was displeased only with the servant who hid his talent in the ground and did nothing with it. Notice that this servant was not rewarded for his slothfulness. Instead, his talents were given to the servants who would do something productive with it.
Blessed is the receiver of seeds who sows them to grow and multiply to supply bread for the benefit of many.
The lesson of these two scriptures?
Multiply what you have been given. Don’t squander your gifts. And it doesn’t matter where you start. The school teacher who starts with only two talents compared to the doctor who starts with five. As long as you leverage those talents to multiply them for your benefit and the benefit of others, you will be successful in the Lord’s eyes as well as in your own eyes.
A good friend of mine was feeling the pinch of COVID in his business in a recent conversation. Before COVID, he had been very successful and made good money – money that afforded him a luxury lifestyle. He was proud of his high earnings and all of the material trappings that those earnings afforded his family.
With the advent of the pandemic and as his earnings dropped, he and his family struggled financially. He discovered that his debts remained the same, but the income to cover those debts was insufficient, and he had nothing to fall back on.
Looking back, I noticed that as this friend’s income grew, so did his spending on luxuries and his debt levels. Like the servant who was given five talents but then buried them, my friend squandered his resources. He didn’t multiply them. He didn’t invest them, and when the day of reckoning came, he had nothing to show for all that he had been given.
The Parable of the Talents is a blunt metaphor of how money flows in modern society from the poor to the wealthy.
Because of their money habits, the poor will always be poor, and the wealthy will always be wealthy. It doesn’t matter how much stimulus money you give the poor; they will most likely waste it on things that will waste, diminish or rot and do nothing for them in the long run. The wealthy, on the other hand, put their money to work.
Like the farmer who sows their seeds to produce wheat that can be turned into bread that can be sold to the poor, the wealthy provide the services, goods, and shelter that the poor will pay them to buy and use; that’s how the money will always flow from the poor to the wealthy.
It’s exactly like the Parable of the Talents, except in the modern world, the Lord doesn’t have to lift a hand to move resources from the slothful to the productive. The invisible hand does all the work.
If God gives you a handful of grains of wheat, will you ground it into flour for bread and squander your gift in short order? Or will you use the wheat to grow more wheat, and only when you’re satisfied that you’ll never have to worry about having enough wheat again do you start grinding some of that wheat into flour to enjoy on a sandy beach?
Like wheat, the financial resources that God places into your hands contain the seeds of growing wealth – wealth that can be used to benefit your family and your fellow man.
Don’t be like the slothful servant who blows these resources on toys and luxuries bought with debt. Not only do those unproductive assets not bear fruit, but their rot can spoil the cache you already have by depleting your assets in the way of interest expenses.
The moral of the story?
Don’t sacrifice your long-term security to satisfy your short-term desires and wants.
Put the seeds God has given to you to work. Don’t consume it now. Take the leap of faith and release that seed into the ground. The Lord will take care of the rest. There will be plenty of time for consumption in the future.