Competing and Comparison: Parable of the Bags of Gold

Posted by on

 

A Parable about Financial Stewardship

Let's begin with this passage from Matthew 25:14-30, in The Passion Translation:

14 “Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like the wealthy man who went on a long journey and summoned all his trusted servants and assigned his financial management over to them. 15 Before he left on his journey, he entrusted a bag of five thousand gold coins to one of his servants, to another a bag of two thousand gold coins, and to the third a bag of one thousand gold coins, each according to his ability to manage.[a]

16 “The one entrusted with five thousand gold coins immediately went out and traded with the money, and he doubled his investment. 17 In the same way, the one who was entrusted with two thousand gold coins traded with the sum and likewise doubled his investment. 18 But the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.

19 “After much time had passed, the master returned to settle accounts with his servants. 20 The one who was entrusted with five thousand gold coins came and brought ten thousand, saying, ‘See, I have doubled your money.’

21 “Commending his servant, the master replied, ‘You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you have been a faithful steward to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, “Come celebrate with me!”’

22 “Then the one who had been entrusted with two thousand gold coins came in and said, ‘See, my master, I have doubled what you have entrusted to me.’

23 “Commending his servant, the master replied, ‘You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you were faithful to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, “Come celebrate with me!”’

24 “Then the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins came to his master and said, ‘Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others.[b] 25 I was afraid of you, so I went and hid your money and buried it in the ground. But here it is—take it, it’s yours.’

26 “Angered by what he heard, the master said to him, ‘You’re an untrustworthy[c] and lazy servant! If you knew I was a shrewd and ruthless businessman who always makes a profit, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? 27 Then I would have received it all back with interest when I returned.[d] 28 But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand. 29 For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.’[e]

30 “Then the master said to his other servants, “Now throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish.”

Reviewing this parable/story from the perspective of competing and comparing, very real Kingdom System operational practices and procedures are established.

  • Each servant/person (including you and I) was/are given gifts, talents, and abilities “according to our ability to manage them.” We each do not receive the same amount/number of giftings, but we each do receive an appropriate number of gifts and talents according to what we are designed and capable to manage, our ability.
  • The number of talents that we receive does not establish a hierarchy or a pecking order according to the number of talents that we receive. Those who receive more are not regarded and rewarded more than those who receive less. All receive the same instruction on our engagement of the talents we are given.
  • We are rewarded by what we do with what we receive and not by what we did in comparison with what someone else did with what they received. The person receiving two and the one receiving five both doubled what they received, and the acknowledgement narrative was exactly the same. “Well done.”
  • If we fail to engage our gifts for profit/increase and for a fruitful outcome through multiplication, we are judged to be an untrustworthy[c]and lazy servant! He told the others “Now throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish.”
  • Our God is not a Socialist and does not support socialism. He did not divide everything up equally. 28 But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand. 29 For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.’[e]
  • There is “celebration” when we live our lives according to the Dynamics of Conduct and Behavior established in our Constitution. We know that the effectiveness of our performance is based on what we did with what we were given, not what someone else did with theirs. We know that our mission is not to compare and to compete with each other, but we are to be the best that we can be with what we are given. We are also charged to pray for and to assist each other as much as we can in order to assist others in their efforts to be the best they can be with what they received. Giving is the transference of value – something you have that is valuable to someone else. Giving to others we receive more.

← Older Post Newer Post →



Leave a comment