February 04, 2017

Hiding Our Gifts

Matthew 25:24-30

Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.

—  Matthew 25:28-29

The man with one bag of gold felt cheated, thinking his master was unfair. While one of the servants was given ten bags, and another five, he had received just one. As far as he was concerned, it wasn’t even worth ­using. What could he accomplish with such a small amount?

Perhaps that’s how you feel. Maybe your classmate gets straight A’s and is one of the most popular people you know, while you’re just average. Maybe your colleague gets promoted even though you have worked twice as hard. Maybe the church down the street is growing while yours keeps losing members. Some people seem to have it all, and you feel that you’re just limping along. You conclude that you have nothing to offer.

If that’s how you feel, please read this parable again. Regardless of who we are, there’s not one person on earth who has nothing to offer. When all is said and done, it’s not about how many resources or abilities we have received; what matters is how we use what we have been given. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Take a good look at yourself, discover the gifts you have, and begin using them. And when you do, you’ll no longer feel cheated. You’ll find fulfillment in life, and you too will hear the Lord say, “Well done. . . . Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Lord our God, keep us from comparing ourselves to other people, and give us the grace to use whatever gifts you have given us. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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