The unprofitable servant: Do NOT bury that talent

Church Service was so interesting today, and I was inspired. Inspired enough for this post title to change from ” what I learnt in Church today” to Bible Study. Lol.

Now, we all know what profit is. It means gain or benefit. Therefore an unprofitable servant is one whose master gains nothing from him. God is our master in this context and when we read Matthew 25:14- 30, we understand a little better.

Jesus talked about a man who left home and gave talents to his servants. However, by the time he returned he expected all of the servants to have multiplied their talents. And they did, except one, who buried the talent and told his master exactly that. Of course, he  was furious and damned him to hell.

I read that verse long long ago and I can remember wondering why the Master was so angry. I felt the unprofitable servant was being prudent and careful not to risk that talent. But of course, that is not correct. He did not want to be an instrument of increase to his master.

He refused to use that talent out of wickedness. 

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 

And Fear. 

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

Lol. I am sure we can imagine why the Master was angry. This tells us that God does not accept fear as a valid reason for being unprofitable.

In essence, God wants us to be profitable, he wants us to increase. He wants Heaven to gain souls through us. He wants heaven and other people to benefit from us, he wants those talents to multiply and he wants us to serve him.

Matthew Henry’s commentary on that passage states that ” Our receiving from Christ is in order to our working for him”.

If you read the Bible text you would see that the servants who used their talents doubled it. This means that a dormant talent doesn’t grow. And if we dilly dally too much, the talent  can be given to those who are maximizing theirs or God takes it back. In that passage he took the talent from the unprofitable servant and gave it to the servant with five talents who used his and gained five more. Equalling ten plus one.

The servants who used theirs also got great commendation from their Lord. Matthew 25:21.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 

I want to ask us what our talent is? What is that gift unique to you? That thing you love doing can be of great benefit to the kingdom of God and others.

For me it was a no brainer that I would write. My first ever blog was a fun secular blog. The teaching thingy came way later.

Do you know that God has attached some people to that talent of yours, No matter how small or insignificant you think it is.

Do you know that it is up to you to maximise that talent and give God a good investment. Where would you be if the person who led you to Christ refused to use his talent? Do you know that people sing and others hear it and give their life to Christ or stop the suicide they wanted to commit?

Do you have the gift of the gab? Do you write poems? Can you motivate and inspire others? Are you creative? Do you work well with others. Can you lead or teach?

You can use this for the benefit of the kingdom of God.

Everybody has something God has dropped inside of them. I repeat everybody. You just need to find it.

If at all you aren’t sure what talent you have, then just be of benefit to God. Evangelism is a general calling even though some are also called specifically. You can witness to others about God. I can assure you that sooner or later you will realise how best you can be profitable. All Christains have to be profitable. It doesn’t mean you have to be a pastor.

PS – Has God been nudging you into an area of Ministry? Do you know that God frowns at and disciplines those who refuse to heed his call? God is very patient oh, and he will baby you for as long as needed. But when the time comes, he gives you all you need to maximize your talent and if you still refuse they may be consequences. God didn’t ask me to use my talent when I was a young Christian. He knew I wasn’t ready or even willing. But when the time came when I should have doubled that talent, when I should have used what he gave me and given him good returns on his investment, I began to have dreams that I was treading on thin ice. I had to take stock, struggle with fear, give in and leave it all in his hands. 

PPS. This post is for all of us including me.  Even those who are doing something for God have to be sure that they aren’t stagnant. Not like I know much but we can rub minds. If you have questions, email me at I will reply you ASAP.

Two follow up posts to come later include ” How to render effective and profitable service” and ” Working for God inside and outside the Church and groups to join in Church” etc.

Bible Characters, Bible Study, Christian Life
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  • Reply
    February 14, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Thank you for sharing this insight (again). I feel a nudge to discover more of what has been deposited inside of me. I’m almost very certain that ALL these things (writing, speaking, sewing) is still a peripheral. My prayer has always been to USE up my gifts, talents and my life. What’s the point of living without sharing the Gospel and giving to the world?!

    May fear not stop us! Amen.

    • Reply
      February 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Of course yes! there’s still so much more buried deep that needs to be discovered, nurtured and developed. I think realising it is an important first step because it’s dangerous to think we have reached our capacity.
      The things is we have to start from somewhere. God needs to see our seriousness and commitment on the talent we have now before he trusts us with others.
      Yes oh! I love that prayer. How sad will it be to get to Heaven’s door and be shown the gifts that were dormant and the lives we could have touched? God forbid.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    wow! this write up is so apt!

    First time I read that passage of scripture, I was concerned about why Jesus called the servant wicked. I was confused until I realised it is cos there are many people attached to each of our gifting and talents.

    I remembered God told me few weeks ago that what he gave me isn’t for me alone and thus should go teach others, I felt overwhelmed and inadequate but God has be helping me even though sometimes I rebelled Lol because of fear of crowd but one thing I noticed is that eventually I found myself enjoying the task while doing it.
    At the end of the day, I would ask myself “why was I afraid and acting rebellious before?” Lol. Thank God for his mercies

    Thankyou for sharing this!

    I just continue to pray for obedience not to die without releasing all he deposits in me

    I love

    • Reply
      February 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you Immanuel.
      Not only you! It took time before I understood what that passage really meant. I took talent to mean money, but it’s deeper than that.
      Yes oh! That’s one thing that drives me. That one person needs to hear what I have to say or teach no matter how little it may be. And the more that person cries to God for relief in that particular area, the more unhappy God is with me because I have not done my part. And if I delay, God will surely find another person.
      Lol at fear of crowds. There’s nothing I dislike more than standing in front of people to talk, but it sort of comes with the job, and God prepared me by telling me to join teaching dept. I discovered that the love for conveying the message outweighed the fear. I still get nervous, but God has been helping me.
      Yeah! I think most rebellious people ask themselves that at a point after they give in.
      Amen and Amen. Obeying is key. Precious said something similar to me once ” May you die empty” . She probably realized then that I was giving out less than I was capable of and she was right. I pray the same prayer for you too.
      Thank you. I appreciate.

  • Reply
    February 16, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I so love this post, Sister Bisi ( can’t get over the epicness of this name!)
    My takeaway from here is: a talent that is not used dwindles.
    God, help me use all my talents when and how you want me to use them.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      February 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Lol. Thanks. All na inspiration from God.
      Your takeaway is apt. We owe it to ourselves to exploit every talent we have.
      Amen and Amen.
      Thank you for reading dear.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Very insightful. True talk. Our talent is to serve others. God bless you for sharing this piece.

    • Reply
      February 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you for commenting Josephina. Yours is similar to my mum’s name Josephine.
      Your view on talent as meant for serving others is so apt.
      Amen. And you too.

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