One Talent Woes

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.” Matthew 25:14-15

I was invited to a banquet a few weeks ago where Billy Joe Daugherty, a pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the keynote speaker. He shared, humbly and forthrightly, about all the things the Lord was doing in Tulsa, things that are quite remarkable. People are being saved and healed and delivered in the church each week. They have built an outreach center that reduced the crime rate in the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. Their ministry extends to many countries, among them Sierra Leone, a brutalized African nation that is close to my own heart. I was humbled and encouraged by the grace that has opened to so many because of this man’s faithfulness. As a matter of fact, just listening, I felt the tears right there, ready to flow, through most of the meeting.

I’d say Pastor Daugherty is a five or ten talent kind of guy.

I have, at times in my life, dreamed of grandeur in the kingdom of heaven. I don’t think that’s uncommon, especially for those of us for whom it has become obvious that grandeur of a more worldly sort is not likely to materialize. We all want to do something big. Something immortal.

But negotiating the middle years of my life is turning me into a realist. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be another Kathryn Kuhlman, although I have and will see healing manifest in response to prayers of faith. I don’t expect to guide thousands in The Way, though surely I will speak a word here and there that will be as valuable and as beautiful as an apple of gold in a setting of silver.

The fact is, I’m a one talent girl.

Now don’t start. “Oh Lisa, don’t think of yourself that way! You have lots of talents!” I’m not being modest or belittling myself. But I don’t have to look much further than a Billy Joe Daugherty or a Jack Hayford or a Joyce Meyer to understand we aren’t all equal when it comes to the goods the Master entrusted to us. And we aren’t all equal when it comes to ability. If I find myself on the light end of the scale, so be it. Only thing is I better not let the Master’s goods, no matter how small, appear small in my eyes. I better not let myself think it won’t matter what I do with my talent. One of these days He’ll come looking for it and woe unto me if I hid it away.

See the cool thing about the Lord is with Him size really doesn’t matter. He proved that when He commented on the widow’s meager offering that day at the temple. Her gift was greater than all, but only because she gave it. Only because she had the faith to think her two mites would not be lost amid the overwhelming wealth and majesty of the temple. And they weren’t. Jesus was paying attention. He noticed, and He’s still noticing.

So I’m working on being faithful with my talent. These monthly offerings are part of that. I’m neither perfect nor perfectly faithful, but I’m faithful to try. And the Lord, not being a harsh man, will bless that.

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