What's in it for me?
Work in proportion to the skills and abilities that you have been given.
If you were entrusted with looking after $1 million dollars for ten years - how would you go about it? Would you put the money in the bank? Buy some property? Perhaps you would consider buying some shares? Or would you keep it safe by hiding it under your mattress?
Now imagine that you could keep the profits that the $1 million would bring in over the ten years. Would that alter your method of looking after the money?
A story was once told of a boss putting three of his workers in charge of his business. Each one had different skills and abilities, so they were put in charge of different amounts of his wealth. Two of the workers put the money to use and achieved 100% returns on their investments. The third worker hid the boss's money in the ground.
What is one of the lessons that we can draw from this illustration?
God created each one of us with a purpose and gave us specific skills and abilities which He wants us to use to meet the needs of others. It is too easy to make excuses as to why we should not use the skills and opportunities that we are given. "I'm too young..", "I'm too old..", "I'm too busy..", "she does it better than me.." are words that are often spoken to justify our lack of action.
But what if we could keep the returns gained by our investment? What if there was something in it for us? Would that change our attitude to how we use our skills for the benefit of others?
When we use the skills and abilities that we have been given, we gain extra experience, which in turn improves our skills. Having more experience takes us from being a novice to an expert. It creates new opportunities and friendships along the way. And seeing the gratitude of those who we are able to assist is just something that cannot be measured. It is yet another form of return on our investment.
God calls us to use the skills and opportunities He has given us for His purposes.
But our lives are enriched with the dividends we receive along the way.
So what is stopping you from using your skills and abilities to their maximum potential?
Matthew 25:14-30 New Living Translation (NLT)
Parable of the Three Servants
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’