I have to admit that this parable used to mess with my mind. You've got a master who gives three of his servants "talents" (money) before he leaves on a trip. The servants are supposed to take care of the money until their master comes back. So far, so good, right?
Well, each of the servants got a different amount of money. The one that received five talents goes out and doubles his money. The one who got two talents did the same. The last servant who only got one talent goes out and buries his in the ground because he was afraid of his master's anger.
Here's where it gets confusing: The master comes back and calls his servants to him. He praises the first two servants who GAMBLED his money and yells at the one who PROTECTED it!
Seriously, would you want someone to take your money to Vegas and gamble with it when you had asked them to take care of it for you? I wouldn't!
What I now understand is that this parable isn't about money. It's about the gifts we've been given by God. It's also about stewardship of those gifts.
But what this parable tells me is that God wants us to use the gifts we've been given. He wants us to take care of them, not hide them away!
This is a great way to understand how we should care for creation. Think about this parable in terms of creation. The master is God, we are the servants, and the talents we've been given include the earth and all it's creatures. You can then see how we are supposed to care for the earth: responsibly, gently, conscientiously.
This parable doesn't only apply to the earth of course, it applies to everything we've been given by God whether visible or invisible. So, share your gifts with others and nurture those gifts so that they can continue to benefit the world.
Next post: The Virtues and You!