“So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:28–29, ESV)
When we fail to put to work the things God gives us, we miss out on fulfillment. We will also lose out on the continued use of those gifts. The principle is to use it or lose it. God gives us what he gives us to put it to use. That is part of being a steward. We use what the master gives us in the way the master intends. God entrusts us with spiritual gifts, talents, abilities, and resources to carry out his work. Those gifts are not meant to be hidden.
In the Parable to the Talents (see Matthew 25:14-30), the third servant buried the treasure the master had given him. He kept it to himself. He hid his talent (a talent was a measure of money) from the world. When the master returned, the master took the talent and gave it to the servant who had put his talents to work.
If we don’t use what God gives us, he will take it back and will give it to someone else who will put it to work. Whether it is money, good health, or abilities – these are all good gifts from God. When we make use of these things for God’s glory, he will often pour out greater gifts so we can accomplish more. But when we keep these things to ourselves, we will eventually find ourselves running short.
The good news in this is that we don’t need to hold on so tightly to all that God gives to us. When we are generous with what he gives, he is generous with us. It takes away the fear that causes us to hoard our talents and possessions. We know that with God there is always more. As much as we give, we can never out-give God.