The first two slaves should have been on Shark Tank. They are the kind of people who invent sweatshirts that become blankets, socks that become mittens, or pop-up greeting cards that become napkins. They may have used their talents as poker players or day traders.
These two are excited about how fast they can make money. The master knew what he was doing when he assigned them to that work. And as is often the case, the reward for good work is more work, I will put you in charge of many things (vv. 21, 23).
The third slave has no idea how to turn $5,000 into $10,000. He sounds bitter when he complains about the master reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed (v. 24)—which is capitalism at its best. He does not understand why anyone would go into business with someone like his master.
His misgivings lead to inertia. When asked to defend his indolence, he is terrible at breaking the bad news. Opening with “I knew that you were a harsh man” is a poor strategy for excusing your own inactivity.
It seems the third slave’s biggest mistake is back in verse 18 when he does not say, “I am good at a lot of things, but making money is not one of them. I will work hard if you give me a job where I can be of real service.”
The minute we find ourselves doing things we should not be doing, we should speak up. We can look for ways to use the gifts God has given us rather than pretending to have gifts we do not have. We need to share our work with God.
What will you do today that you have no business doing?
God, help me find opportunities to use the gifts you have given me. Amen.