Monday, November 14, 2011

Digging Holes and Burying God's Gifts

This Sunday's gospel, in which the parable of talents was read, hit me between the eyes with one sentence:
"But the man who received one (talent) went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money."
A talent is a coin worth about 17 years worth of wages. In today's modern income, this would be equivalent of about $750,000 today. This is no small amount of money. The point of the story is - digging holes and burying God's gifts can get us in serious trouble.

Jesus is letting us know that we all have been given great gifts. Sometimes we look at other's gifts and compare our own. Think of the man with 10 talents - $7.5 million - what would the servant with only 1 talent think of him?
  • If I only had his money.
  • I could really do something good with that.
  • I deserve it as much as he does.
  • Why not me?
We sometimes do the same thing. It is the entitlement attitude. We think we deserve some gift or thing, when in fact what we truly deserve is death and hell. Yet, by the mercy of God alone are we even offered forgiveness, life, and heaven.

Even in our giftedness we sometimes forget how valuable we are to God. We are God's prized possession which He buys back with the life of His Son. He gives us everything and asks for just a little in return. Some of what he asks back is that we use the good gifts he has given us to glorify His name, to become holy, to make the world better, and to bring others to Him - all to the extent we are able.

All of us go through times when we want to make God comfortable in our lives. But, this isn't how God wants to operate.
God isn't a God of the status quo.
God is a God of vision, daring, and courage.
God is a God of growth and life.
God is a God of power and authority.

This is the kind of God who loves us and gives us good things. A father who knows how to give us all good gifts.

Which is why we dig holes when we do the following:
  • Rely on our own power too much.
  • Think we are above needing God.
  • Think we are unlovable and below God.
  • Find ourselves too comfortable with God.
It gets worse when we bury our treasure by:
  • Giving up on God.
  • Sitting out the battles God asks us to fight. 
  • Stopping our prayer life.
  • Not doing the right thing.
  • Letting fear paralyze us.
  • Becoming lazy or complacent in our spiritual lives.
Whatever holes you are currently digging and whatever the talents you have buried. It is time to dig up your treasure and then throw your shovels down! God is calling us to be bold and take action now!

It is time to multiply our talents and return them to God. This is our choice, by His grace. He empowers us to do what we can to make a good return to God with our lives and actions.

Who doesn't want to hear the Master of the Universe tell us:
'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.'

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