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The Parable of
THE SERVANTS’ TALENTS
The one thing that Charlie was good at was art. The talent ran in his family. As far back as he could remember, he loved to draw and paint. However, he envied Max, his best friend. Max was talented in many areas. He wrote award-winning essays at school, was on several sport teams, excelled at math, he could sing and dance, and he was in the school band. He played many instruments, including piano, flute, guitar, and violin, just to name a few. He even dabbled in artwork, just like Charlie.
They were both applying to the same university the following year. They both had approximately the same grades in school, but each had very different activities, especially in the summertime. While Max relaxed, as most kids did, and went to the movies often, Charlie applied himself to his hobbies. When he and Max were in junior high, he made the illustrations for Max’s stories in English class. But Charlie’s enthusiasm grew beyond the required assignments, so he began to write his own stories to go with his paintings. He enjoyed reading these to his younger brothers and especially for his younger sister, who was mentally handicapped. Yet, he didn’t stop there. He was always doodling. By high school, he could draw funny caricatures of people, making him popular with the school newspaper committee.
One summer, Max taught Charlie how to play the guitar. Max’s parents had given him one a few years earlier, but he didn’t use it much, so he left it with Charlie. Max taught him the basics, and then it was up to Charlie to struggle to learn the songs he wanted to play. It took him a few years to become good enough to play for an audience, but he always took it with him to talent shows, family reunions, and holiday celebrations. With practice, he even improved his singing. By senior high, Charlie had learned enough about music to participate in the school choir and in band. Unfortunately, Max had lost interest in music. Without practice, his talents deteriorated, and he wound up dropping out of most of his extra-curricular activities.
Despite their growing differences in personality, they still had many of the same classes, and they always ate together at lunch. Other than that, Max seldom had time for him anymore, but Charlie didn’t seem to mind; he made his own friends wherever he went. Charlie made time to help others with homework assignments, and they enjoyed each other’s company. He also used his talent for art to branch out into photography, which got him an envied position in the journalism club.
Not only that, he spent some of his summers as a volunteer counselor in summer camp for disabled children. His guidance counselor at school encouraged Charlie in all these activities, and wrote for him a nice letter of recommendation for him to submit to the university he wanted to attend. In his letter, his counselor pointed out how much of an asset Charlie would be to their school, and urged them to place some weight on Charlie’s extracurricular activities when considering his application.
Apparently, the university did give credence to the talents that Charlie had strived to develop over the years, for they promptly sent him a letter of acceptance.
Max, on the other hand, having squandered the talents he was blessed with, waited for the letter of acceptance that never came.
THE SERVANTS’ TALENTS (Matthew 25:14-29)
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one man he gave five talents (coins), to another man he gave two, and to another man he gave one; he gave to every man according to his ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained another two. But he that received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants returned, and reckoned with them. And so, he that had received five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; behold, I have gained besides them five talents more.’
His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
He also that had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents besides them.’
His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you, that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed, and I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth; lo, there you have that which is yours.’
His lord answered and said unto him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with interest. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him who has ten talents.’
For unto every one that has, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that has not, even what he has shall be taken away.”