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Burying Money
Photo: Gualberto Becerra
It’s worship time and there he is preaching, Mr. Good-At-Everything, in all his perfect holiness. Ironically, he’s preaching about the parable of the talents. He holds a few colorful Monopoly bills in his hand and calls three children from the crowd. The parable in Matthew 25 tells of a rich man who goes on a long journey and entrusts his property to three servants, dividing his talents, a unit of money, amongst them. To the first servant he gives five talents, and Mr. Good-At-Everything gives one of the children a salmon colored $500 bill. To the second, the rich man gives two talents, and the second child gets a blue $50. Then Mr. Good-At-Everything gives the last child a single white dollar bill, the one talent that was given to the third servant.

When the man returns from his trip, he finds that the first two servants have invested and doubled the talents that were given them. He is overjoyed, a role that Mr. Good-At-Everything plays exceptionally well, and promotes the servants. However, upon discovering that the third servant has hidden his talent in a hole, the rich man is enraged and fires him.

All the children clap, worship has gone wonderfully, and they’ve learned the valuable lesson of using your talents for God. Everyone’s happy and ready to act on the story, except my heart is bitter. Mr. Good-At-Everything is well… good at everything, and it’s easy to preach about the talents when you’re the one holding the $500 bill.

Envy's Appeal

Envy’s appeal makes so much sense that a lot of us are drawn into it. Even at an early age, we learn to make comparisons. It begins when someone in the playground has a better toy than ours, and continues when we notice that all men are, in fact, not created equal. Miss Beautiful can charm anyone into doing anything, people love Mr. Eloquent, and Mr. Good-At-Everything is still, good at everything.

In our spiritual lives, we are so blinded by the talents of others that we fail to see how much good we can do with our own. We blame God for not giving us the talents He gave those whom we envy, and our hearts become sour and unwilling. 

God never intended for his gifts to be compared, neither did He give talents as a measure of who He likes better. He made us different, each a different purpose to serve, but loves us the same.

I was never the one holding the $500 bill; I know what it’s like to play the Monopoly of life with a single dollar. I know what it’s like to be drowning in bitterness and jealousy. The point of life is not to win, it is not a contest of who has the most talent or gold stars on their forehead, it is to live for God, and find purpose in Him. Only have  a dollar? Don’t bury it! Use it, double it, ask God for help. After all, He owns the bank. 

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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