Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)
In today’s passage, Jesus points us to the third question we should be asking when discerning our calling: What opportunities have we been given to use our passions and giftings to glorify God and serve others?
In the parable of the talents, the opportunity could not be clearer: The master audibly calls his servants and entrusts them with the responsibility of investing his wealth and producing a return. The opportunities for you and I to use our passions and giftings to serve our Master aren’t always as clearly spoken. But in the words of C.S. Lewis, “Aslan is on the move” around us. Through constant communion with God through His Word and through fellowship with other believers, our eyes will be open to where God is moving and where He may be calling us to put our passions and giftings to work for His glory and His agenda.
Once that opportunity is clear, it is our responsibility to act! Commenting on the parable of the talents, Reverend Robert Sirico says, “There seems to be a natural connection between the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities and the master’s admonition in Matthew 25 to be watchful of his return and to be caretakers of his property.”
If the Lord has revealed opportunities to use your passions and gifts to love and serve others through your work, you have discovered your calling. Now it’s up to you to steward those God-given gifts well, so that one day, the Master might also say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”