Also, Jesus also told us the Parable of the Talents. It’s a story of a rich man that went away and left a bunch of money with three of his servants. Two of them used the money to create more money. One was afraid and buried it. Who do you think the Master was more pleased with?
What is a talent?
In Biblical times a talent was a large sum of money – usually a large sum of precious coins. It is said that one talent is equal to 15-20 years of a man’s wages.
Who was the rich man?
We know the Lord of this story was a rich man. In verses 24 and 26 it states that this man reaped where he did not sow and gathered where he spread no seed. I interpret this to say his position was that of a successful business owner. If you owned a plumbing company that employed 30 people then I would not expect to see you show up with a large wrench or drain auger.
The owner of a successful business would spend his time managing the employees, marketing the business, and paying taxes – not fishing for a kid’s toy in a clogged toilet. I would hope he is successful – for his employee’s sake!
What the Bible says about building riches
14 “For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two. 18 But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them. 20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.’
21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
22 “He also who got the two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two 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 set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “He also who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. 25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter. 27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. 28 Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away’.
The MoneyPlan SOS translation:
The Lord in this story is God and we are the servants. God owns everything and all that we have comes from him. He is entrusting us with a few of the many wonderful things while we are on this planet and we are to be good managers with them.
When He sees us doing good things with money then He entrusts us with more. If we squander it or bury our talents in the ground then we are not being good managers.
What the Parable of the Talents does NOT say:
This is not permission to horde money. Proverbs 28:20 says “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” We are not to try get rich schemes and instead need to be honest and faithful with money.
Also, the talents were not debt: I have heard it stated twice in the last 2 months that the money was on loan. If it were then the Bible wouldn’t use the word “entrusted” or “gave”. The servants were given talents “each to their own ability”, not to whom could spend all the money the best.
Do you wisely manage what you have been given?
This is not a guilt trip but I would challenge you to look at how you use money. Is it going to good things? Is it being squandered away or being buried in the ground?