What lessons can we learn from the Parable of the Talents, mentioned in Matthew 25, when it comes to determining if our mind-set of life is half-empty or half-full?
[Darris McNeely] We’re talking about the half-empty, half-full glass of water approach toward life, what I call a positive or negative mind view. We all know the illustration that we can use like this. Again, what is your life? Half-empty or half-full? There’s a parable that Jesus Christ spoke in Mathew chapter 25 beginning in verse 14, “The Parable of the Talents,” very familiar to many, that speaks about this very matter that we’re talking about here, half-empty, half-full. Let me read it, ”The Kingdom of heaven,” Christ said, ”is like a man traveling to a far country who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And he gave to one five talents.” All right, five talents. “And to another he gave two.” All right. “And so he said after he went on to his journey, he went…who had received the five talents then went and traded with them and made another five talents.” And so he increased his talents by 5 to come up with 10. He doubled what he had.
And likewise, he who had received two did the same thing. They both doubled what they had been given by the master. But he who received one, there was one, a third individual who received only one, he went and dug in the ground and hid his lord’s money, didn’t do anything. After a while he says, “The Lord returned to settle the accounts with them,” verse 20, “He who received five talents came and brought the other five talents saying, ‘Lord, you’ve delivered to me five. I have gained five more.” The master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a few things. Be faithful over many.’” And the same with the one who had brought two. He brought two, he said,” “I’ve doubled it. I made four.” Same thing was said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and Christ praised both of them here through the master here in these two servants.
These two right here are individuals who took the talent given to them, took the opportunity, took what was in front of them, took what they inherited, however you want to describe it when it comes down to our own life today, education, money, and they doubled it and they said that they were good and faithful servants. They live life with a half-full approach, right. The one who only received two could have said, “Well, I didn’t get as many as the one who had five,” but he didn’t. He took what he had, doubled it just as the other had done according to his ability and lived an abundant life, lived a life full of joy, lived a life full of satisfaction. He had a half-full approach to life.
In verse 24 though, as we look at the individual who had one and just basically came up with one and had a zero increase, he who had received the one talent came to the Lord and said, “I knew you’d be a hard man reaping where you’ve not sown, gathering where you’ve not scattered seed. I was afraid.” This person was fearful, a negative emotion, a negative reaction, a negative approach to life, a half-empty approach to whatever comes into his life. He said, “I was afraid and I hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” Then he would put it out for a nominal amount of interest, exerted no effort, actually lived a life of neglect, want, what we might call poverty.
And so the Lord answered him and called him a wicked, lazy servant. “You knew that I reap where I’ve not sown and gather where I’ve not scattered seed. You could have at least deposited the money and gained a bit of interest” (Matthew 25:14-30 Matthew 25:14-30 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and dig in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are an hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strewed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: see, there you have that is yours.
26 His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed:
27 You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents.
29 For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has.
30 And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
American King James Version×). And so he commanded others to take the talent from him and give it to those who had. And that’s a pretty hard description in a pretty hard parable of an individual who had a zero-sum, half-empty approach toward life. He had not done his duty. He had not worked. And he criticized the master and basically said, “I could have done better,” with his approach and he felt that his was superior than anything done there.
Look at this. What do you have? What are the talents in front of you? Do you have two? Do you have just one? Or are there multiple talents? Hospitality, of service, of ability, of intelligence, even a pocket full of money, an account full of money with ample means to expand your life, do good for yourself and your family and for others. What is your approach? Take what you have, work with it, build with it, rather than look at what you don’t have. This impacts so much of our life. At whatever age we may find ourselves and no matter what comes into us, appreciate what we have. Take what we have, serve God, serve each other and have an abundance mentality. That’s one of the critical lessons to learn from this and that can help us determine, and you determine whether you have a mind view that is half-full or half-empty.
I wanna come back, part three of this. I wanna give you a story from my own life, a real-life experience, of someone that I think exemplify this and taught me that lesson when I was a young man.
That’s BT Daily . Join us next time.