This year of 2014 is proving to be quite different than those past. It is obvious God is setting me on a specific path. It is turning into a Jeremiah 29:11 year, for He is proving that indeed He does know the plans He has for me. Winds of change are stirring, and in preparation for such winds, He is calling me to places, and peppering my days with questions I never thought before were necessary. I am eager to see what the other eleven months hold. The cat has indeed been killed, for curiosity runs wildly within my mind.
Within these past 31 days, it is apparent that God has decided that we will begin to address an issue that has been an Achilles heel of mine since I was a little girl. It seems He is ready for me to accept and know who I am; the amount with which my confidence, or lack thereof, has been challenged is without a doubt a new record.
In the past weeks, I have been gifted so many compliments. Only they weren’t just compliments. They were true, honest opinions from people who meant them genuinely and earnestly. It was as if God Himself spoke through these people, telling me not what they saw, but what He saw. And my heart eagerly embraced each word, because deep down inside of me, I never wanted to believe the lies that a poor self-esteem insists upon. I wanted to believe that I had value, that I indeed was special, that I had been entrusted with talents, just like those three servants from long ago. Those three who were each given a different number of talents, but not a different measure of importance. I’m sure you, like me, have heard this story so often that it has just become a Sunday school cliché. We all know the moral: don’t waste your talents, don’t let fear get in the way. But as I was driving home at the end of the day yesterday, I found myself crying out to the One my heart loves most. It seems, even with the validation of strangers and friends, I cannot seem to bring myself to the acceptance that I could actually be who it is they seem to see.
And as I began thinking about this parable, I started thinking about why it is that so many of us are most like the one who hid his talent in the ground. It is true, sometimes we bury our talents out of fear. But could it be, that sometimes we hide these talents of ours deep within us, because of unbelief? Could it be, we keep these talents hidden because we cannot bring ourselves to recognize the truth that they are actually in our possession?
Yesterday, in the middle of my discussion with Him, I began to explain how even with all this “proof” of who I seemed to be I could not completely believe it. I told Him how it did not make sense that I was these things because if I was this then I would have that. And since I did not have that, that proof that I was indeed special, I could not be special. So often we see proof through correlation. If I have A then I should also have B. And when I have A without B it minimizes the reality of A in my mind. However, correlation is only a potential aspect of reality. It is not a defining factor. And yet once again, the philosophical lies of culture tell us that indeed correlation is causation. If she is desirable then why isn’t she in a relationship? If he was really successful then shouldn’t he be climbing the corporate ladder? If they were really the kind of people we wanted to be then why has nobody ever heard of them?
And as I realize the truth that I have buried my talents so deep because I have insisted on being ignorant of their reality, I begin to wonder how it is that I am to change. I go back to the parable, this time with a question. How do I find a way of doing more than just gaining another talent? How do I ensure that those I have are used to the best potential? And as I see this passage in so many different versions, there is one thing that sticks out to me. These two faithful servants, the ones who were given 5 and 2 talents, they took those talents and used them faithfully. And as I search the different versions of this same book, I see words like traded, worked, invested. And I know. I know that talents are meant to be shared. I cannot see their reality, because I refuse to hold them. But when I take these talents, in my bare hands, and hand them over to others, so that they too can experience, utilize, and gain from what I have, I have no choice but to acknowledge they are real. Because I cannot give someone else an empty gift. So when I hold my talents, and then pour them into the lives of others, it is not always for them. Sometimes it is for me, so that I can remind myself that indeed they are real. And when I recognize they are real, and I let them have potential, their potential grows.
two becomes four…five becomes ten…and then we realize we have become faithful.
We were faithful over a little, so He set us over much. And there is beauty in that. Because with the responsibility of talents comes joy. Great joy. So hold those talents. Recognize that they are real. Let their potential grow in you. And then…
enter into the joy of your master.
For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country,who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Welldone, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Matthew 25: 14-23, NKJV