Sharing your Talent
A Sermon by Chloë Dearborn
Everyone is good at something. Maybe you’re an excellent cook, dancer, or gardner—or maybe your talent is a little less tangible. Perhaps you’re good at giving advice, or listening to the problems of others.
In the Gospel today, we learned that those who shared their talents were rewarded. Now, the Gospel was referring to the gold talent, an ancient coin, but the message holds true for personal talents as well.
At first glance, the story appears to be a bit cruel. The man with five talents is given more, while the man with one talent is scolded and even that one talent is taken from him. That might not seem fair.
The key to understanding this parable is not to look at how the talents were distributed, but how they were used. We must not forget about the man with two talents, who was also praised. The man with five talents and the man with two both invested their talents, bringing them into the world to be used. They took what they were given and worked with it.
But the man with one talent? He hid it away from everyone, too scared of what would happen if he showed it to others. His terror kept him from teaching others, so, in the end, his own talent was taken away from him and he was left with nothing.
I’m sure you’ve all shared a talent with someone, no matter how small it may be. My friends in Youth Group certainly have. Alice and Jane used their musical talent to help new music students assemble their instruments. They, in turn, were helped by adult computer programmers learn about computers in their STEM class. Their sister Helen, a martial arts student, taught a karate technique to a fellow student. Erick’s mother, a foreign language teacher, shared with him her love of Spanish.
Personally, I know one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had is teaching a toddler how to hula-hoop. This was a few years ago when she was only two-years-old. Her little body was too small at the time to properly do it, but she really wanted to learn. I must have spent a good half-hour teaching her the techniques. And, I did it again. And again. At least three times that summer, she asked me to teach her. And the next summer. And the summer after that. Every time, I watched her get a little bit better.
Now, she’s six-years-old. This past summer, I saw her teaching a friend’s little brother how to hula-hoop. That made me grin like nothing else. I invested my talent for hula-hooping and my time to teach her, and now she’s teaching others. That’s all the reward I could ask for.
The lesson Jesus taught is, share your talents, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. You will get twice-fold what you put out. And who knows? Maybe that person will even share one of their own talents with you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. God, and those around you, will recognize and appreciate your efforts.