What Are the Talents?
A Word from Deborah Leighton in the February 4 Adventurer
Recently, I have been pondering two separate but related passages from Scripture as I discern God’s will for this particular season of my life.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), the master clearly represents God, and we are likened to the servants. But what are the talents? A “talent” could be anything God has given us, including material possessions, spiritual gifts, natural abilities, relationships with family and friends, and opportunities to share the gospel.
I have been thinking about this parable alongside 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. There Paul compares his ministry to others, pointing out that there can be no true foundation other than Jesus Christ, but that each will build with different materials. Our work will be seen for its true value on the last day. God will look upon such work in this life and test it with fire (2 Cor. 5:10). Some work will burn up, and some will remain.
Of course, based on faith in Jesus Christ, our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. We will be raised not to condemnation, but to eternal life.
Still, the way we have spent our time in this life will be revealed for what it is. In light of this, I have been asking myself: What are the talents God has given me? How do I best steward them? What is the work that is eternal, that remains after Judgment Day? It is not the work that relies upon or produces special letters before or after our names; or that seeks prestige; or that builds up wealth. All these will be burned up. The only work that will remain has to do with the saving and tending of souls. God calls each Christian to this work.
Personally, this work has involved ministering to God’s own children – the flock of his church. And, it now involves shepherding my own daughter. Scott and I have discerned that she is one of the primary “talents” that I must steward in this season. I am grateful to the Lord, as well as to Andrew and the Advent, for the opportunity to continue to do both kinds of eternal work, but now in a more balanced way.