Friday, October 11, 2013

The Parable of the Talents - The Importance of Personal Effectiveness and Growth

The Parable of the Talents
There are many lessons that can be learnt from the Parable of the Talents as recorded in Matthew 25: 14- 30.

For those who have not taken time to study the Parable, I have reproduced the King James Version here.

Matthew 25:14-30 (KJV)

14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now a Parable is a compound Greek word consisting of "para" which means "beside", and "ballein" which means "to throw." It literally means "to throw beside," thus to make comparison. And a Parable can have different interpretations, depending on who is reading it.

One of the interpretations that I like is the fact every human being is born with talents. A talent in this case can be said to be a natural aptitude or a skill.

Some people are born with many skills (5 Talents), while some are born with one skill. But everyone has a skill. What matters isn’t what we’re naturally endowed with — it’s what we do with it that matters.

So Jesus acknowledges the imbalance in the distribution of skills in life, but he also suggests that our starting conditions and environment are irrelevant. One person earns five talents, another earns only two, but both are congratulated equally because both achieved a 100% gain. These persons have identified and effectively utilised their skills and aptitudes to produce 100% results. These people did not go around comparing themselves with others and moaning about the fact that some people had more than them. They were grateful and they delivered.

However there is this servant who had one talent and buried it without achieving an increase. This is typical of some people who moan and groan about the fact that they were not blessed with a lot of talents or skills and therefore that is a reason for not reproducing 100%. These people blame God for not getting enough and not achieving a lot in Life. They blame the environment, their parents, the government and even their looks.

The Bible says that even those that did not reproduce had their talents taken off them and given to those that already had 10 talents. The one that did not reproduce ended up worse in life.

An effective lesson from this parable is to identify your God-given talents and seek to reproduce 100%. If you have only one talent, it means that God believes that only one talent is needed for you to achieve your dream or conquer the world. Take a look at musicians who rule the world with their voices and the athletes that astound the world with their feats.

Remain blessed and grateful.


  1. How can I identify my talents? If I don't know them, I can't use them

  2. How can I identify my talents? If I don't know them, I can't use them


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