Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man called his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents…After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing an additional five. The master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
What are the talents the Lord has given to man? What distinguishes us from all the other creatures in the world? What distinguishes the Christian from others?
The Talent to Smile. Yes! The Lord has given us the muscles, the flexibility, to raise a smile. He has given us the emotional faculties to do it meaningfully. A smile is something purely human. It is something that is exclusive to the human race. All humans, regardless of age, regardless of sex, regardless of race and of nationality, are endowed by the Creator to smile. This is a gift that not only changes my day, but of those around me. I can actually give my smile to another and they will smile in return. This is a talent that once given can quickly spread to others. Christians have taken the natural human smile and brought it to a supernatural level: to smile as one lays down his life for another.
The Talent of Laughter. Yes! The Lord has given us the ability to laugh at ourselves, and to laugh with others! Not a bad thing at all. Laughter is something that only humans can do. No other creature in the world can laugh. No other creature can tell a joke! Laughter is the cure to a multiple number of ailments: depression, despair, sadness and loneliness. A friend should be defined as someone who helps another to laugh - especially when the other can no longer do it on their own! There is no sound or music more beautiful than children giggling and laughing while playing. Laughter attracts an audience. It gathers people together. It captures our attention. It can make us envious too! Many times I will stop by the elementary school just to hear the kids laughing. It makes my day just as much as it makes theirs! Warning: it is very contagious! It is so infectious that it can easily spread to others just by sound! Christians have taken this talent to the extreme. Saints can laugh at themselves while converting their enemies. That is usually the way they succeed.
The Talent to Sacrifice. We were created in the image and likeness of God. And if there is one thing we can say about God, it is that He Loves; which means, He sacrifices. Only humans can love because only humans can sacrifice. To sacrifice yourself for another makes no sense. It is highly illogical and highly irrational. But to sacrifice is the surest and greatest way to love. We love it because we love Him: the Way of Love. This talent glows in the dark. It shines brightest when the world is in darkness! Throughout recent history we have seen an increase in wars and a propensity for massacres and genocides. We have seen a lack of love in one of our most important institutions: the public schools. They teach all subjects (except religion). They answer all kinds of questions (except religious). But they fail to teach how it all goes together. They fail to answer the most important questions: Why am I alive? What am I here for? The Christian can truly love because the Christian can truly sacrifice. He can sacrifice his life and lay it down for others because he knows why he lives and for whom he lives for! “Every attempt to expel the Gospel reenacts the drama that reveals it!” - Gil Baille
The Talent to Hope and Believe. We alone can hope. We alone can believe. The saying, “You get what you see” is not true. We cannot see the future; and what we get always plays out in the future. Monet sold his paintings for little, compared to what they are worth today. Those who believed bought! Those who could believe are wealthy today! There is nothing that can be seen in its entirety. Man was not created to just understand. He was created to believe and hope. It is entirely understandable to hold on to a grudge. But we have not been called to understand; we have been called to believe and let go.We have all been given talents from above. Over the years, some of us have buried them for another day. If we do not go out and share our talents on a daily basis, we will look back on our lives and see how cheaply we lived.
The Lord invites us to go out and multiple his talents! His talents are our talents!