In Matthew 25 Jesus tells the parable of a landowner who goes away and entrusts three slaves with his possessions according to their own abilities; one with five talents, one with two talents and one with only one talent. When he returns the slaves with five and two talents invested them and returned the talents plus the interest they had earned. Jesus response to them both was, “Well done, good and faithful servants, you have been faithful over a few things, I will put you in charge over many things.” But to the slave who hoarded his one talent, The landowner called him wicked and lazy. He took the one talent away from the lazy slave and gave it to the five-talent slave. Jesus said, “…everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus’ parable reminds us of God’s desire for our faithfulness to him. The paramount key to faithfulness is commitment. The five-talent slave was committed to use his talents to bless his master with a return on his investment. In return the slave owner rewarded the five-talent slave with even more. The story represents the importance of our commitments.
What are you committed to? What we’re committed to, we live for. Our commitment has the potential to define our entire lives. We can represent the faithfulness of a five-or-two-talent servant with the acrostic CORE (Committed, Obedient, Responsible, Energizing). A faithful five-or-two-talent servant will be committed to remaining in God’s will. Paul gives us a picture of true commitment in Acts 17. “And according to Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue of the Jews and for three Sabbaths (three weeks) he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
Jewish leaders were not happy with him preaching that message so they ran him out of town. He friends hustled him off to Berea, then Athens, then Mars Hill. They ran him off everywhere he proclaimed Christ. But Paul was committed to preaching the Gospel and nothing or no one was able to stop him.
In addition to commitment a five-or-two-talent servant must be obedient. When God calls, the five-or-two-talent servant answers the call and is willing to do whatever God has equipped him to do. He is also faithful to be responsible and live a responsible life within his circle of influence. He also displays his commitment when he is energizing the people around him.
So if these qualities represent a committed life, on a scale of one to ten, what number would you be? Would you be a five-talent, a two-talent, or a one-talent servant.
To become five-talent servants we must be willing to make a candid assessment of exactly where we are committed, and what we’re committed to. God’s desire is for us to be committed to Him, first and most. He does not intend for us to straddle the fence. Jesus says in Revelation that if we’re luke warm, he will spew us out of his mouth.
We must also be willing to develop the inner qualities necessary to be the people we really are. That is a work of our faith and God’s faithfulness. Our faithfulness must bear witness to authentic transformation of our lives.
Five-talent servants accomplish what God created us to do. What has God created you to do? What talents has He given you? Are you using them? God says in His word we are to use our talents to love others. We should never have to tell anyone, “I love you.” They should know we love them by the way we show the love of Christ to others.
Committed five-or-two-talent servants display steadfast hope.They never gauge what God is up to in the moment. They seek the eternal perspective in the way they live their lives.
Committed five-or-two-talent servants expect and anticipate obstacles in their lives while always yielding to obedience to Christ. Life shakes us and challenges us sometimes because someone else makes a bad decision or a poor choice. We need to anticipate those things happening and be committed to yielding to Christ in obedience no matter what choices others make.
Committed five-or-two-talent servants must move through life with our assignment. Whatever talents God has given us we need to invest in loving Him and other people. That’s the only way we’ll show Him a return on His investment in us.
Committed five-or-two-talent servants must be willing to identify and isolate every idol in our lives and totally abandon all our commitments to them.
Think about it today. Think about your own commitments. Ask yourself how committed you are to loving God with all your heart and loving others. Ask yourself what you’re committed to and how committed you are.
Finally, ask yourself if you’re a five-or-two-talent servant. If not, ask God to show you how to be more committed to becoming one.