It's also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Matthew 25:14-15
The parable of the talents is a powerful reminder that all we have and all we are is a gift from God. The gifts, talents, and passions that we have were given by God, but with those gifts also come responsibilities. The gifts of talent and treasure require from us an acknowledgement that God has given us these gifts, we have not earned them nor do we deserve them; they belong to God. We are called to be good stewards of the gifts we have given and to share those gifts with those in need.
As the master distributes resources to his servants, he gives according to ability. To those who are given more, more is expected. When the master returned he expected that the servants would have made good use of the resources they were entrusted with. The first two servants do very well in their use of the money but the third servant, while not selfish, squanders away the opportunity to use the resources productively.
The servant given one thousand said, 'Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.' "The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? Matthew 25:24-26
The master is furious with the servant, not because he lost the money, but because he was afraid to take a chance. He kept his resources to himself for fear of losing what he had.
It seems to me that many people live their lives this way. We hold so tightly to what we have that we fail to realize opportunities to make a difference. When we are consumed by anxiety and fear, we fail to place our trust to God. When we fear judgment for failing, we are not seeing our gracious and loving God.
God is calling us to use our talents, not recklessly, but boldly. To step out of fear and into faith. To give to others fully, knowing that God will not leave us nor forsake us. This is a life of adventure, faith, and joy. To live otherwise is a terrible way to live.