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The Underestimated Talent

Published on:

15 November 2023

A talent in the context of the parable in Scriptures is a variable unit of currency used in ancient Roman Empire. It is worth more than one thousand dollars in US currency. In all His parables, Christ always used enduring symbols, everyday things that existed in his time period and continue to exist in ours.  These symbols drive home his teaching and his principles, making it practically impossible for man to forget what he learned.  Even if the principles are forgotten, the parable lives on in our minds. There is one thing that is amazing about the parables of Jesus Christ: they cannot be outlived. Whenever a parable from Jesus Christ comes to the understanding of man, it always brings forth indisputable facts.  The meaning of the parable becomes new every day as we increase in the level of our meditations. The rapid changes of the modern era cannot make His parables become obsolete or anachronistic. In fact, some of the parables are manifested in many current events.

The dictionary definition of “talent” states that it is a marked innate ability or natural endowment. In this parable, Christ uses talents to point the Church to the gift that God gave to mankind.  God gave us all the ability to be a channel of blessing of His Glory.  Talent is not an acquired skill or wisdom. Talents of God are quiet gifts that manifest in opportunities, wisdom, understanding and in an unquantifiable instinctive abilities – this includes the ability to make wealth. Many of the wealthy people of our time think their wealth results from their personal abilities.

One of the most important talents is opportunity, and it is the most trivialized talent. Many people are of the opinion that God did not give them talents. Contrary to their thought, God gave everyone on the surface of the earth a talent. It is your ability to manage your talents that determines how many more increase you will have on you talent.  For example, the servant who had successfully managed his talents and was profitable therein was given more because he had demonstrated that he could manage more grace of God. You may not be extremely wise and perhaps you do not have great understanding.  You may not think you possess the ability to do great things, but certainly you have one powerful talent — opportunity. Opportunity is the most underrated but the greatest of all gift of God. The talent of opportunity is to man the way an operating system is to computer. Opportunity is the vehicle of all talents of man and it is the medium through which man manifests his talents for the glory of God. It is also the medium through which God appraise the usage your talent and commend or condemn the worth of it. The result of the application of the usage of talent speaks for people who put their talents to work through the opportunity that was available to them. Conversely, the mouth of the wicked servant that reports a reason why he did not put his precious talent into use invites condemnation and judgment.

In this parable, the master did not place much emphasis on the gain made on the talents. Rather, his anger was centered against the man with one talent that refused to use his own gift. Opportunity presented itself to the servant but he never put the talent to use and as a result he could not account for a gain or a loss. It is a great opportunity that we are able to behold the glory of God each day. David was talking of the importance of talent of opportunity and he said in his Psalm, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) It is a great opportunity that we can walk around on our own; when we come across those without legs we will see the reason why we should use those legs to walk into the environment where God will be glorified. It is of the Lord’s kindness and mercy that we are not mentally insane. If you have been to a mental home you will see the reason why we should apply our wisdom to glorify God whenever the opportunity permits us. We are presented a talent of opportunity to know the revealed truth of the word of God so that we can justify it to operate upon the revealed truth that can make us us free. We are at different places at different times as opportunity avails in order that we may operate on our talents in touching others and leaving behind the trail of God’s glory.

Some think that we must get to heaven before giving account of what we did with our talents. It is not your talent that calls you into the service of God.  Instead, it is whatever you do with your talent that becomes your righteous services towards humanity and therefore, God. The way you touch others with the beauty of Jesus Christ is a return on the gift that God has given you. Your talent of opportunity accounts for itself before the Almighty God when you cash in on it to glorify God.

Abraham was sitting by his tent near the Mamre tree at the heat of the day, and then he saw three strangers. Opportunity presented itself to Abraham to be used for the glory of God. It was available for Abraham to extend God’s attribute of loving kindness to the supposedly strangers. Abraham hurried out to invite the strangers in and little did he know that he was inviting divine visitation to his home. He lavishly entertained them; he did not know that he was rendering an account to the Creator of all the talents He had given him. The righteous application of the opportunity given to Abraham spoke for itself. God did not give verbal commendation to Abraham for the entertainment like the master did in the parable of Jesus Christ. The Heavenly God did more: He gave him the heir of the promise. He said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” (Genesis 18:10)

In the pathway of your life, when you come across the destitute, the orphans or anyone you can touch with the love of God, apply the underestimated talent of opportunity. You never know, Heaven might have come down in your presence to evaluate your talent. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (James 4:17)

When opportunity prompts you, show a little kindness to demonstrate Christ ambassadorial attributes that residents in you. Heaven will surely return to you with blessing when you least expected it.


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