The Review and Herald

1719/1902

October 26, 1911

The Use of Talents

EGW

The parable of the talents should be a matter of the most careful and prayerful study; for it has a personal and individual application to every man, woman, and child possessed of the powers of reason. Your obligation and responsibility are in proportion to the talents God has bestowed upon you. There is not a follower of Christ but has some peculiar gift for the use of which he is accountable to God. Many have excused themselves from rendering their gift to the service of Christ, because others were possessed of superior endowments and advantages. The opinion has prevailed that only those who are especially talented are required to sanctify their abilities to the service of God. RH October 26, 1911, par. 1

It has come to be understood that talents are given only to a certain favored class, to the exclusion of others who, of course, are not called upon to share in the toils or rewards. But it is not so represented in the parable. When the master of the house called his servants, he gave to every man his work. The whole family of God are included in the responsibility of using their Lord's goods. Every individual, from the lowliest and most obscure to the greatest and most exalted, is a moral agent endowed with abilities for which he is accountable to God. To a greater or less degree, all are placed in charge of the talents of their Lord. The spiritual, mental, and physical ability, the influence, station, possessions, affections, sympathies, all are precious talents to be used in the cause of the Master for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died. RH October 26, 1911, par. 2

How few appreciate these blessings! How few seek to improve their talent, and increase their usefulness in the world! The Master has given to every man his work. He has given to every man according to his ability, and his trust is in proportion to his capacity. God requires every one to be a worker in his vineyard. You are to take up the work that has been placed in your charge, and do it faithfully. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Let the business man do his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. Let him carry his religion into everything that is done, and reveal to men the spirit of Christ. Let the mechanic be a diligent and faithful representative of him who toiled in the lowly walks of life in the cities of Judea. Let every one who names the name of Christ so work that men, by seeing his good works, may be led to glorify their Creator and Redeemer. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.” Let the upbuilding of the kingdom of Christ be your constant thought, and let every effort be directed toward this one end. RH October 26, 1911, par. 3

Those who have been blessed with superior talents should not depreciate the value of the services of those who are less gifted than themselves. The smallest trust is a trust from God. With the blessing of God, the one talent through diligent use will be doubled, and the two used in the service of Christ will be increased to four; and thus the humblest instrument may grow in power and usefulness. The earnest purpose, the self-denying efforts, are all seen, appreciated, and accepted by the God of heaven. “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones.” God alone can estimate the worth of his service, and see the far-reaching influence of him who works for the glory of his Maker. RH October 26, 1911, par. 4

We are to make the very best use of our opportunities, and to study to show ourselves approved unto God. God will accept our best efforts; but let no one imagine he will be pleased with ignorance and inability when, with proper improvement of privileges bestowed, a better service might be supplied. We are not to despise the day of small things; but by a diligent care and perseverance, we are to make the small opportunities and talents minister to our advancement in divine life, and hasten us on to a more intelligent and better service. But when we have done all that we can do, we are to count ourselves unprofitable servants. There is no room for pride in our efforts; for we are dependent every moment upon the grace of God, and we have nothing that we did not receive. Says Jesus, “Without me ye can do nothing.” RH October 26, 1911, par. 5

We are responsible only for the talents which God has bestowed upon us. The Lord does not reprove the servant who has doubled his talent, who has done according to his ability. He who thus proves his fidelity can be commended and rewarded; but he who loiters in the vineyard, he who does nothing, or does negligently the Lord's work, makes manifest his real attitude toward the work to which he has been called, by his works. He shows that his heart is not in the service for which he has been engaged. He has digged in the earth, and has hidden his Lord's money. The talent given to him for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, has been unappreciated and abused. The good it might have done is left unaccomplished, and the Lord can not receive his own with usury. RH October 26, 1911, par. 6

Let none mourn that they have not larger talents to use for the Master. While you are dissatisfied and complaining, you are losing precious time and wasting valuable opportunities. Thank God for the ability you have, and pray that you may be enabled to meet the responsibilities that have been placed upon you. If you desire greater usefulness, go to work and acquire what you mourn for. Go to work with steady patience, and do your very best, irrespective of what others are doing. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Let not your thought or your words be, O that I had a larger work! O that I were in this or that position! Do your duty where you are. Make the best investments possible with your entrusted gift in the very place where your work will count the most before God. Put away all murmuring and strife. Labor not for the supremacy. Be not envious of the talents of others; for that will not increase your ability to do a good or a great work. Use your gift in meekness, in humility, in trusting faith, and wait till the day of reckoning, and you will have no cause for grief or shame. RH October 26, 1911, par. 7