So I was reading a book that mentioned the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and you know usually this particular parable is taught from the perspective of using the gifts God has given you to serve Him instead of being a pew-warmer…not letting fear keep you from putting yourself out there. But something caught my attention this time around that I don’t think I’ve ever considered in this particular parable before. It’s right here 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…
Did you catch that? Each according to his ability. How did I not notice that part before? I mean I know God’s expectations of me are only of ME and that He doesn’t expect me to be like someone else, but somehow seeing it in black and white this time…well it meant something a little different. The master in this parable entrusted his servants with his gold and out of the first two, he got back double. He got ten bags for the five he gave the first servant and four bags for the two he gave to the second servant. Do you think the master expected to get ten bags back from servant he gave five bags to? Of course he did. That’s why he gave that servant five bags…because he knew the ability of that servant. Do you think the master expected to get ten bags back from the servant he gave the one bag to? Of course he didn’t…but he did expect to get back one extra bag. He knew the ability of that particular servant and knew that although that servant may not have been able to produce five bags of gold out of that one, he did at least have the ability to produce one additional bag. But instead, the servant chose to not use that ability and just buried the bag in the ground. He even tried to pawn off his lack of effort on the master and his great power.
God knows us inside and out…He made us. He knows our struggles, our complexes, our fears. He also knows our strengths and our abilities, our passions and our dreams. He knows what we are capable of when we put forth the effort. He’s not comparing us to others and what they do and He doesn’t expect more than we are able to give, but then sometimes it’s not really so much about able as it is about willing. The one bag servant was most certainly able, he just wasn’t willing. He wasn’t willing to fail and therefore he wasn’t willing to try.
God doesn’t expect you to be like anybody else but the person He created you to be. He’s not comparing you to anyone else. All He expects you to do is what He’s called YOU to do. And He knows you are most certainly able. He made you able.
He gives us the ability to fulfill our call…the willingness, however, is up to us.