In this parable recorded in Matthew 25, the talents (bags full of gold) may appear to be very big responsibilities in our sight, but to these servants they were not so, having been trained in the administration of such business for long. They were given talents according to their ability and not beyond that. Two of them were faithful; the last one, sadly, wasted the time that could be put to multiply the talent -- and time lost is lost forever, of course; in addition, he may have only been living out of the master's store, or being paid for being a servant during this time of idleness that he spent. He only added loss to his master.
I've heard of people who, when they applied for higher jobs, were first put to little jobs such as cleaning the toilets as test of their faithfulness. If one can't be faithful in the least that he is asked to do, he is not fit for higher responsibilities either.
Once Late Rev. Dr. Kurien Thomas came to the Seminary, and finding the place before the store not cleaned, called for the student who was appointed for the task there. The boy came in all unkempt and wearing unwashed clothes. Dr. Thomas asked him to immediately vacate the building and leave the Seminary. He who couldn't take care of his own clothes, he said, is not fit to take care of the Church of Jesus Christ.
It may be sweeping your room, washing your clothes, doing your homework, being sincere to your parents, to your teachers, and to your friends. All these count. They are your talents.
You can only grow and multiply your talents where there is:
Trust - Trustworthiness as well as an environment of trust that is built around because of you not failing your friends and those you are responsible towards.
Aspiration - Without aspiration and desire, you can't have motivation. Motivation is that which propels action. Without aspiration there can't be any vision for growth. The flame must keep burning. Don't look at your tasks as burdens, but love them. Be faithful to God first of all in all these. Seek His glory through all your works.
Liberty - You need freedom and liberty to grow. If you are enslaved to certain habits, laziness, TV, profitless reading, chatting, surfing, drugs, sex, etc, these will only keep you from growing. The internal bondages are more dangerous than the external ones, viz. social, political, etc.
Effort - You must put effort; for only effort multiplies. All dreaming and no working is just a big waste of time; and, time lost cannot be regained again. Therefore, work while it is day; for, a night will come when you can do nothing anymore.
"No" - There are times when you should be able to say a "no" to things that may look good, but keep you from the best. Of course, you must always give a "no" to the wrong. Do not keep the pleasure and wishes of your friends or people around above responsibility. Be faithful to the true and good, and you will see the rewards in the long run. Young people, especially, must learn to say "no" to a lot of things that come from peer pressure; no matter what it costs in the present. Better do something you will never regret for again, than do things that will torment your soul with guilt for the rest of your life. I know that you wish to not offend or wish to not be rejected by friends; but, if you choose the right and expose the evil of the wrong, you only do good to them. Where everyone chooses to put off his candle, you must choose to keep it up on the candlestick and shining for all to see and know the difference between good and evil.
There are "no"s that you will always be proud of.
Temperance - Moderation, i.e., avoiding excesses, self-control, self-discipline, and perseverance are virtues that keep you going in the long run, and help you finish what you started. Rewards are only conferred on those who finish the race, not on those who start it well, but give up mid-way. Don't get off-balanced in any thing. Keep the golden middle. Neither be over passionate nor be listless. Avoid boredom by engaging in the right kinds of actions. Don't spend those hours in wasteful pleasures. Make best use of time. Redeem it, says the Bible, for the days are evil (Eph.5:16).
There is a Hindi saying Josh mein hosh nahi khona, meaning "Don't lose sobriety (hosh) in the midst of excitement (josh)." Be temperate. The tortoise who keeps on moving, though slowly, wins the race; the hare, sadly, loses because it runs too fast sometimes, then sags into sleeping the other times. Don't be a yo-yo person, sometimes high up and other times down very down. Keep your composures fine. Rejoice in the Lord: and again I say, rejoice (Phil.4:4).
Be faithful in the least and God will make you in-charge of the greater. And, of course, do not forget Joseph and Job. Joseph was faithful to his father despite the hatred of his brothers, faithful to Potiphar despite what Potiphar's wife sought, faithful in the prison despite the injustice done to him, and God lifted him up to become the Prime Minister of Egypt. Job, he was faithful to God, when he had things, and when he lost them all as well; therefore, God rewarded him double-fold. Of course, don't do it for rewards; do it because you love your Master and know that He is good. God bless you!
© Domenic Marbaniang, March 2011