The Comparison Game | Day Ten
By: Megan Gover | To download the second week of this study, click here.
For my sixteenth birthday, I got my dream car: a yellow Jeep Wrangler. In addition to my new set of wheels, my parents gave me two instructions. With my newfound freedom, I would have to 1) pick up groceries, my sister, and run errands when needed—without complaints. And 2) enjoy my new car!
In the same way, Christ has entrusted us with a unique way to serve his kingdom and bring glory to his name. Not only does he expect us to use our talents to make him known, but he also desires for us to have fun using them!
Whether we know our gifts and our daily utilizing them or we are struggling to find our niche, we should take joy in knowing God yearns for his children to take pleasure in the talent he personally gave us.
Yesterday, we saw different examples of talents throughout the Bible and dissected how we compare them. Today, we are going to grasp a better look at why we use them.
Start off this time praising the Lord through prayer. Remind Him of all the reasons why you are grateful for His loving kindness towards you!
Flip to Matthew 25.
In the previous chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is declaring His second coming. As he discusses with his disciples, He let’s them in on a little secret: no one would ever know the dates and times of His arrival. Therefore, He provides three examples of how we should expectantly await His return.
He starts off with a story of ten virgins (or bridesmaids if you will) in Matthew 25:1-13 to show how we must be prepared. Then He mentions the Parable of the Talents.
Read Matthew 25:14-18.
Now, let’s make sure we know the scene.
In this Parable, whom does the man represent? What about the servants?
What does the man entrust to the servants? What amounts does the man give His servants?
Depending on your translation, there might be different words. The ESV says talent while NIV says bags of gold. But, let’s put this in perspective by doing some math. (I know, I’m terribly sorry.) A talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage. 20 YEARS! Today, the federal minimum wage is $7.25. Multiply that by 40 hours a week for 52 weeks and you get a typical gist of what someone would make in a year.
(7.25 x 40) x 52 weeks = $15,080
Now a talent is 20x this amount, so the servant who received one talent received about $301,600 in today’s money. The servant entrusted with two talents received $603,200 and the servant entrusted with five talents received $1,508,000. Girl, this is not some chump change!
How did the man decide to spread his money between the three servants?
The master leaves and the servants go to work. How did each of the servants invest their talents?
Read Matthew 24:19-30.
What was the man’s response when his servant’s doubled his talents?
What was the servant given one talent’s excuse? Why do you think that is?
What was the man’s response when his servant showed up empty-handed?
What was at the core of the master’s anger?
Who do you relate with: the servants that multiplied or the one who sat on his talent?
What emotions do you experience when you feel like someone was given more talent than you?
How do you think comparisons can prevent us from fruitfully using our talents?
The servant given one talent was still given a lot—over 300K in today’s times. However, his pride and jealousy ultimately kept him from investing his master’s wealth before His return.
Have you been sitting on your talent or using it? In either situation, what are some tangible steps of faith you can walk in to be a good and faithful servant?
End today confessing pride or jealousy holding you back from your talents, as well as times you’ve used talents for your sake’s not our Master’s. Ask the Lord to increase your desire for His return by using your talents as a way of worship, glory, and excellence for His Great Name!