Comparison to Others
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Do we know enough? Are we learning enough? Are we growing enough? Are we using all of the talents we have been given? Have we put all of ourselves into being a Christian? Are we satisfied with the status quo?
The parable of the talents gives a great illustration on how we are to use the talents and abilities God has blessed us with. Matthew 25:14-30 records the parable of the talents. One man was given five talents, another two, and another one talent. The man with five and two talents used their talents, developed them and gained more talents. The one talent man kept his talent safely, but didn’t use it, develop it, or let it grow.
When the master returned, he noted the different talents they had gained. He was pleased with the five talent man who had gained five other talents. He was pleased with the two talent man who gained two other talents. He was not pleased with the one talent man. Note that he did not expect the one talent man to gain five other talents. Nor did he expect the two talent man to gain five talents. Likewise, he would not have been pleased with the five talent man only gaining one other talent.
God expects us to use the talents and blessings that He has given to us. Some are much more talented and blessed than others, and more is expected of the more talented. There is a danger that arises concerning our talents. It would have been quite easy for the five talent man to have looked at the two talent man and said, “I got two other talents just like him, I should be good. It would have been easy for the two talent man to have safely kept his two talents just like the one talent man thinking that he was doing as much as the next person. The danger arises when we begin comparing ourselves to others.
Are we doing as much as the next person? Are we growing as quickly as someone else? Are we as strong of a Christian as the person sitting next to us? NONE OF THESE QUESTIONS MATTER...EVER!!! 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” It is possible that we are a stronger Christian, growing faster, helping more people than anyone else we know and we are still not living up to God’s expectations. The five talent man could have gained three other talents and patted himself on the back because he did 50% more than the two talent man. Yet he still would have been lacking in God’s eyes. On the flip side of the coin...It is possible that the one talent man was discouraged because he only had one talent while the others had two and five talents. He possibly did nothing with his talent because he was comparing himself to others instead of realizing that he alone answered to God for his one talent.
We all have different amounts of talents and they are all different. We answer to God individually for the use of the talents that He has blessed us with. Comparing ourselves to others is dangerous. We must simply take the talents that we have, grow those talents, nurture those talents, use those talents, develop new talents to the best of our ability without being discouraged or puffed up by the talents of those around us.