Post 83 If you do nothing

What does this mean?  Nothing about what? 

There is a story in the Bible about a story Jesus told concerning the Parable of the Talents.  It is a story when talents of different amounts are given to three different people.  But in thinking on this subject, we will also see that three different people did three different things with what they were given.  Now, of course, God knew who would do what with what they were given and this story is in the Bible, in my opinion, to teach us all something. This story happens in the 25th chapter of Matthew.    

In this story, a rich man, or at least one of the means….was going to make a trip.  He calls some of his servants to him and took out some money and gave it to them to care for it while he was away. We might find that awkward today, but it was not awkward in this story.

This man of means gave one of his servants five talents, another, two talents, and a third, one talent. He instructed them that they were to take this money and invest it. The man goes wherever he was going, did whatever it was he planned on doing, and then returns home.  He calls his servants to him to see what they did with his money. (Remember it was the rich man’s money and not theirs) 

He asks the first servant who had gotten 5 talents what he did with the money he gave him to invest.  The man says I took the 5 invested it and not here is ten.  The rich man tells him that what he did was well done and that he was a good and faithful servant. 

He then asks the second servant who had gotten 2 talents what he did with the money he gave him to invest.  This man also basically said that he had invested the two talents and now had four to give back to him. He also was a good and faithful servant.

Then comes the third man who had been given one talent. In the story that Jesus told he said in Matthew 25:24-30:   24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more, will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be

 weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

As I have said many times whatever is in the Bible is there for a reason.  God doesn’t just toss things in there for no reason.  So what might the reason in this story mean?  How can you look at this story and see how it fits somehow into your own life?

For one thing, it could very well mean that each of us needs to care for what we have.  Some might have a lot, while some even very little…but we need to be good stewards of whatever we possess in life. Whatever we do have we need to care for in a way that honors God and uses what we have wisely.  We are not all the same when it comes to money and things, but we can all care for what we do have.    Just because someone is rich and famous doesn’t make them one speck more valuable than one who is poor.  We all have a job to do for the kingdom.  Whatever talent (not money necessarily God allows us to have then we should take that talent and use it wisely)

I, personally, always wanted a great voice to sing…but no such luck.  You might even want to toss tomatoes at me if I sang.  But God gives each of us something to do for the kingdom.  Big or small in our eyes is still big in God’s.  My job can’t do or reach whom you can, nor you whom I can.  Even if we both stood on a stage and gave the same message doesn’t mean that we would reach the same person. 

As I read and read again the story of the talents I see that two of them were told they were good and faithful servants.  However, one of them did not hear that. 

From the Parable of the Talents, we want to pay special attention to three things about the one-talented man: The Wickedness of doing nothing, the Costliness of doing nothing, and the Foolishness of doing nothing.  The third servant heard that what he did was useless and, in some versions, says it was wickedness.  The wickedness of doing nothing.  Whoa!  If that story is in the Bible and it is there to show us something could it be that if we take what God has given us and do nothing with it, or about what is going on that it would most likely be the sin of doing nothing? Could that be a sin?

The word wicked/useless in the bible is a very strong word to use. It is only used 16 times in the New Testament.  Paul used it, John used it, Jesus used it, and the Roman ruler, Gallio, used it.  However, we don’t normally go around calling people wicked/useless.  We do have a habit of calling people things like foolish, sinful, dishonest, and things like that when maybe we should be calling them wicked or useless. 

denouncement. We use the word sparingly in our English language. We speak of people as being mistaken, foolish, sinful, or dishonest, but not many people we describe as being wicked.

So now take a look at the one who was called either wicked or useless depending upon the version you read and it nowhere calls this man a criminal.  He wasn’t going out and committing crimes.  He was an ordinary person trying, most likely, to live his life.  He didn’t steal that talent from his boss or master, but it was given to him.  This talent bag was probably worth a good deal (it didn’t tell us how much), but this man was entrusted with it.  He didn’t go out and spend that money and waste it.  As you read the story this man with the one talent didn’t go to his boss and lie with excuses…he told the man the truth as to what he did or didn’t do with the money given to him.  So what then was the big deal regarding this man?  The answer lies right on the surface of the account. He buried his talent in the earth, left it there, and refused to use it. He did absolutely nothing with what he was given.  It got buried.   This seems to us a weird kind of wickedness. In fact, in our society, we sometimes regard idleness as a virtue, but this parable very plainly teaches that in the eyes of Jesus idleness is wickedness. The lesson of these three talents is in the Bible to teach us something.


Jesus also told the story about a man traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho. A man was attacked by thieves. They beat him, stripped him of his clothing, and left him beside the road half dead. Jesus said that incident, not to denounce the criminal class, the thieves and the robbers, they are already condemned. He told the story to point out the sinfulness of a Priest and a Levite. They came by that way, saw a man in need, passed on the other side of the road, and did nothing. Read that again because both of them could have helped the man lying in the road yet they didn’t want to get involved so they did nothing.  Each could have taken pity, at least, upon the man and tried to help but they just walked on by.    In the eyes of Jesus, it is wicked to do nothing.   “To him, that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). The first thing we see in the account of this one-talented man is the wickedness of idleness. All of us have messed up.  Maybe we don’t think so but we are not the yardstick for comparison…God’s word is.

In today’s society, people try to do just the opposite.  Liberals want to take from the people who have worked for what they have and give it to people who won’t work. They want people to believe that lazy people should all get freebies for everything but not you!  I am not putting into this category that people who can’t work because of sickness, or injury are lumped there for they are not. This is a socialist regime and

Liberal politicians are saying today, “Take from him that has and give to him that has not.” But Jesus says, “Take from him that has not and give to him that has.” If we study this story and what God is saying it sure sounds more like this:  You use what you have for good or you lose what you have.  This takes place in every area of one’s life to some extent. 

So let’s think about another example.  You have a spouse that you took a vow to love and, at first, you were attentive and loving, and kind.  You wanted to be together all the time…but then! (Don’t you just hate the but-then of life?) I do!  You don’t have to change and be down-right mean or anything, but you can ignore them, not want to go with them places, and just get to the point you think you don’t care and you want the grass on the other side…but even that will turn brown if not taken care of.  You committed to them and it was before God.  Take that seriously.  Now, again, as I have said many times…you never have to stay in an abusive relationship!  However, you need to think hard about what you had at first and how much you were in love and work on that even if it is very hard.  Ask God into your marriage, your family, etc. If you are not willing to try to make things better you lose your tranquility and love dies.  Love is worth trying to fix and can be fixed.  Don’t go after the greener grass…you do what God would want you to do.  Lesson:  doing nothing destroys and going out of your way to do good/right…is a blessing worth fighting for. 

Another lesson that we all need to learn is if you get so busy with the things of the world that you have no time for the things of God. Pretty soon when you don’t make time for God you then don’t pray, and when you don’t….you don’t witness, and when you don’t witness…you left your first love.   It is a very costly thing for a man to do nothing. Do you know to do good yet you DO NOTHING?

When we persist in doing nothing that happens?  We begin to make excuses to God for why we just did nothing.  We had family and friends that were not saved and yet we said and did nothing.  After all, they might reject what we say or not want to be around us.  We knew that they need the Lord but didn’t want to get involved.  What about when we could encourage someone and did nothing…after all we might have to give some of our time just to love on them and be there for them. “Lord, I knew to do good and didn’t do it”.  I know what Jesus did for me on that cross, but sharing that with anyone is tough so I did nothing! 

Boy, are we foolish beings.  We know right from wrong, good from bad, and yet when opportunities come…we just do nothing. What we are doing is burying our talent in the ground and/or expecting others to do what we can’t and won’t do.  You actually might want to consider that one day each of us will stand before God and give an account.  What will all of our excuses sound like to God?  If we don’t start doing we are like the third man who was given something and wasted it away and did nothing.

We are all different in this life.  You are not me and I am not you.  I can never be you.  I don’t have much so maybe I would relate to the one talent guy…not that I would not want to do good, but maybe think what I have in life just wouldn’t matter or be enough.  Whose opinion am I, and you, going by?  I am not a good speaker…in fact, I am one that if I had to talk to people (even in school) would get physically sick.  I don’t write well as most can see…but I write because God can take however I write and still use it for good. Even in writing sometimes I don’t always feel like it, but what “if” that one person it was meant for would not hear it?  I don’t feel like I can be great at anything, in fact, quite the opposite, but then God gives an idea and some time, and while…another message for someone I don’t even know this side of glory.

People are not going to like us when we give the message of God.  Jesus said they hated him and they will hate us too.  It goes with the territory.  Yet, who am I wanting to please?  I might write and drive people nuts with the way I write, but I know that my heavenly Father…still uses my words to get a message out.  I don’t want anything from anyone, don’t ask for money or anything.  The message of God is always meant to be free.  People can accept it or reject it and that is between God and them, my part is just to do as God wants.  I don’t want to bury any message that I am given to give anyone.  I don’t want to stand before God and give an excuse.  God won’t listen to that.  I want to hear “well done my good and faithful servant.” 

Sometimes I wonder if anyone even reads something I put down.  I don’t know!  I just put it down because it is the right thing to do.  Maybe God has a specific person that He will lead to open one of these lessons and read it, and maybe it will make a difference in their life.  That is between God and them.  I do know that God has never told me that if I do this I will be rich while I live on this earth…that’s okay because my spirit is rich and I know I will be when I get to heaven.  Why?  Because even if I get to the smallest of places there I will be there with my Lord and that makes me rich. 

I seriously doubt that my name will ever be written in lights, that I will be famous or rich.  That is not important.  What is important in this life is to do whatever it is that God put on my path to do.  I want that dash to mean something good.  I didn’t always care about that.  We have a birthdate, a dash called life, and a death date.  I want my dash to define me as following Jesus.  Doesn’t ever matter if anyone recognizes the time I put in or says a good job…I just want to please God. 

Salvation has been offered to all of us.  It is a gift but not a free one to the Lord who came down from heaven and died for us.  It cost Him all.  I  chose to accept the gift from my Lord, and I pray you have it as well.  If we simply ignore this invitation and do and say nothing…we will be on that wicked list before the throne of God.  I didn’t want that for me and I don’t want that for you either.  If you don’t know Jesus personally now is a very good time to meet Him and get to know Him.  Just ask Him into your life.  Don’t be like the foolish man who buried the talent…you choose to be like the others who took what was offered to them and multiplied it for the kingdom.  God bless you!