… A man going off on an extended trip… 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. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
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? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.
– Matthew 25:14-30 (The Message version)
What are your giftings, talents, abilities, aptitudes, flair, bents, capacities, skills, propensities, tendencies, inclinations, proclivities, likings, penchants, taste, preferences, partialities, loves, passions, fancies, dreams, desires, ideas, thoughts, concepts, positions, viewpoints… ?
I am going to lowball an estimate that you are able to identify about dozen of these for yourself.
Next question: How is the return on God’s investment going on these? Yep, God put these characteristics in you with the expectation that you are going to do something with them – ALL of them, from the largest and most important to the smallest and least significant.
I can hear a few questions out there –
“Wait a minute. One of my partialities from that list is that I love a good cup of coffee. How can I invest that for God?” My friend, Denise, threw a coffee tasting party. She invited a variety of friends and we spent the evening getting to know each other and increasing our knowledge and interest in coffee, and got great ideas for hosting a party.
“I type 92 words per minute…” That could be a key to an employment opportunity that will open up more doors for you.
“Shopping at Nordstrom?” I know someone who made a connection that resulted in a speaking engagement because she complimented a woman in the dressing room there.
Look at everything as an opportunity. Take nothing for granted. Look beyond yourself and find a way to touch a life. Get creative. Be daring. When you’re in the midst of your day and God brings this blog entry to your remembrance, take his challenge and do something right then and there.
Luke 16:11 indicates that it is only when you figure out how to work the small things that you’ll be given the big things to work on.
Zechariah 4:10 tells us not to despise small beginnings.
Luke 12:48 “Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!”
Start from where you are, with that seemingly insignificant thing, and figure out how to use it to touch others in even the smallest of ways. Then watch as God takes you into the greater things you are looking to happen.
BE WISE – INVEST!
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. (Colin Powell)
There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not do them.
(Charles D. Gill)