“And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one” (Matthew 25:15)
So we all have talents – referring no doubt to time, money, abilities – means by which to do ministry unto the Lord. And while the apportionment was different for each, the same faithfulness was expected of all – and, as such, it would be equally rewarded. The commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” was expressed to both the five and two talent recipients in processing their investments.
Which brings into focus another principle: faithfulness over success. Whatever financial success these servants enjoyed the master’s first concern was that of the heart – their goodness and trustworthiness – and not so much the specific amount of money returned.
But whatever got into the head of the one talent dude? Maybe the idea that my little bit won’t matter, so why bother? Or, they’d never miss me anyway, I’m not important. Whatever! Bad enough to have abdicated his responsibility, he then adds insult to injury by trying to put the blame on the “hard-hearted” master. No remorse, no penance, no shame. In the end it seems he had a greater fear of failure than he did of the Holy Father (Master).
I found this quote by the late F.B. Meyer (1847-1929): “We need not wait for the great future, to obtain this multiplication or withdrawal of our talents. They are already waxing or waning in our hands.”