I was thinking a lot about the parable of the king and his talents recently. For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, the story goes that a king left a talent with three different servants (a talent was worth about 6,000 denarii) looking to see how each one treated his assets. The first servant invested the talent, thus increasing its valuable considerably. The second servant deposited the talent with a bank, increasing its value through interest earned. The final servant, afraid of losing the master’s wealth, merely buried it. This servant, unlike the first two, was punished for not trying to earn the master more money.
The negative pressures of a capitalist society aside, the point of the parable is generally seen as saying that we should not be afraid to take risks with our talents, whether those are actually skills or biblical wealth.
Yet so often, I feel myself shy away from risks. Indeed, I fear that had I been in that story, I would have been the third servant, punished for being unwilling to take risks. In the story, the third servant is sometimes seen as being at fault for not feeling God’s love, and by extension God’s blessings. And perhaps this is why I feel a draw to the story, because in my darkest days I didn’t feel love for myself and certainly didn’t feel love from God.
Therapy has helped me be more open and less risk adverse. Perhaps after therapy I would be the second servant, the one who takes a safe path to increasing the value of the talent. Perhaps this is on of the greatest gifts therapy can give, is the gift of helping reveal an individual’s inner talents, of helping them grow.
Perhaps one day I will be the risk taking first servant. More over, I think that most of us are all three servants at some point in our life. We have all known times where we might be risk adverse, and other times that we accept certain degrees of risk. Perhaps the parable of the talents is less about the value of the man’s wealth, but about how we all learn to use the talents God has given us and grow from them. I would like to think that the third servant learned from his failure and grew to be better with his talents in the future, just as I have learned to have more confidence in my talents because of therapy.
And while we could all go on and on dissecting the parable of the wealthy man, his servants, and his talents, perhaps the best take away from our pondering of talents and therapies is that our talents are gifts that we can share with the world, increasing their value.
I am off next weekend for vacation, but be sure to check back the following week for all new posts.
And thanks, as always, for reading.