For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. – Matthew 25:14-18 (NKJV)
Have you ever planted something? I’m NO gardener (that could change in a few years) but I can recall planting a seed in a cup in science class. Does that count?.. No…? Anyways, for my gardeners and non-gardeners alike, we’ve either seen something being planted or planted it ourselves. We’re able to monitor that seed until we start to see changes. One day it’s a tiny seed and the next it’s sprouted into something wonderful and beautiful, almost like magic. Isn’t that amazing?
It’s the same with us. Let’s imagine ourselves as fertile soil and God as the planter. The unfortunate thing is, just like God can plant in our lives other things and people can too. If we’re not careful, TV shows, music, family and friends can plant seeds in our hearts that will produce a harvest into our lives.
But guess what, just like we can be planted into we are also expected to be planters. What a 360! (So dramatic right?) God has given each of us a gift to use and a purpose that He wants us to fulfill on this earth. We not only have to be careful about what is being planted into us, we also have to monitor what we’re planting. Let me dissect that even more, we all have tasks to complete in the current season we’re in. (It doesn’t have to be something deep and wonderful either.) It’s the everyday tasks and “unimportant” processes we want to bypass so we can rush and move on to the next thing. For example, working a regular 9 to 5 job doesn’t sound as glamorous as owning your own business, but you haven’t been released into that season yet. So will you work unto the Lord while assisting someone with their vision or will you to continue to complain and work halfheartedly?
Let’s flip back to Matthew. In the scripture, the master had given each servant a certain amount of talents or “seeds” according to their ability. In other words, one of your social media friends is starting their own business whereby you seem stuck working at the same job with the supervisor you can’t stand. Your fellow church member is pregnant with her 3rd child while you’re still praying for God to bless you with one. Or your co-worker is now engaged and making wedding arrangements while you’re still happily single. Get my drift? Based on whatever season we’re in, God gives to each of us according to what we can handle. Not based on what we want or what we feel we deserve. Instead of being content with the portion God has given us, we begin nitpicking why that other person can’t handle what the Lord has blessed them with:
“I don’t know why God blessed her with another child, she can’t even afford to take care of the ones she got. Their hair is never combed and they’re always running around the church and she can’t ever seem to control them.”
“Why is she getting engaged so soon? She just finally became “legit single” a few months ago. She was still messing around with ol’ dude and here I am being faithful to God and abstinent my entire time being single. This ain’t even fair! I might as well go ahead and date randoms, because being obedient gets me nowhere! I could of been had a ring by now.”
Isn’t that something? But who are we to question why the master gave one man five talents and the other one two? We just need to be grateful that we’ve received anything at all. But we’re not. We walk around frustrated and overlook the many blessings we have in the current season we’re in; because we’re so busy trying to rush into the next one. Since we’ve engrossed our thoughts in “shoulda, coulda, wouldas,” we neglect to be good stewards over what God has entrusted to us. So here we are like the man with one talent, focused on what everyone else is doing rather than finishing our own race. **(Insert Michael Phelps meme here.)**
God gave each of us a purpose and a plan to fulfill. He wants us to go and plant what He has given us so it can produce fruit. Instead of focusing on planting our own seeds, we go and dig in the ground and bury what the Lord has given us.
Bury….plant…..aren’t they both the same, I mean they’re both going in the ground right?
Wrong! There is a difference between planting your seed and burying it; and the difference is a matter of life and death. In Matthew 25, once the master returned from his trip, he wanted an account over everything the servants had done while he was away.
After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.” His lord said to him “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” He also who had received two talents came and said “Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.” His Lord said to him “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Then he who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” – Matthew 25:19-24 (NKJV)
I find it so funny how the servant with the one talent was the only one that had a story to share. (SN: You don’t have to say anything about who you are or go out of your way to prove yourself to people. Your fruit will speak for you. People will judge you whether you’re in God’s will or outside of it so your focus should be on pleasing God not man.) You only have to make excuses when you don’t have any fruit. Since the servant with the one talent didn’t have any increase to bring, he brought excuses. We do the exact same thing with God:
“God, You can’t use me because of my past.”
“I can’t live the life I’m supposed to because of the hurt & pain I’ve endured.”
“I didn’t grow up with positive examples to show me the right path. I didn’t have certain opportunities that other people did.”
Meanwhile God is saying “if that’s the case, then you should have given the seeds I gave you to someone else so they could have gone and produced from it.” (Matthew 25:26-27) But you’re not feeling that idea. Why would you give your portion to someone else? Surely you don’t want them to increase even more than they have already. Right? So you say “Nah God I ain’t doing that…” Well if you’re too selfish and immature to give your gift/seed to someone that will produce from it, what will you do with it? Will you bury your seed or plant it?
You bury your seed anytime you operate in anything other than God’s preordained and perfect will for your life. When you plant a seed, you have expectancy and purpose attached to it. You’re not going to plan ahead expecting a cabbage harvest if you’ve planted carrot seeds. Once you plant, you’re taking the seed (gift, instructions or vision) that God has given you and sowing it so it can produce life. You’re excited because you can show God how those tiny seeds evolved into a beautiful harvest. When you bury your seed, you’re hiding it. You’re saying “Ok Lord, I’m too scared to walk in my calling and produce, but I’m also too selfish to give what you’ve given me to someone else. So I’ll just take what you’ve given me and sit on it. I’m going to sit on that business idea and I’ll just keep my testimony to myself because I’m too concerned with what people think. Who cares about being obedient to what You’ve called me to do? When harvest time comes I’ll just give You a whole bunch of excuses. You’ll have no choice but to understand and give me the benefit of the doubt because I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for you to use me or call me to do this and that. So here, you can have what is yours.”
But it doesn’t work like that. You can’t sit on what God has given you and then criticize the other faithful servants. You don’t want to produce, yet you don’t want anyone else to produce because it will highlight how you’re sitting on nothing. Years pass and you’re still walking around that same mountain doing the same thing expecting different results. You allow jealousy to attach itself to you and blind you from the fact that you can produce a harvest just like anyone else. All you have to do is be obedient. Instead, you’re more focused on what God has given you compared to the next person than to be a good steward over your portion. So you bury your seed and run off to chase the next best thing. Do you feel you’re going to miss out on something? Do you feel that God is going to skip you? You can’t take a “gimme gimme” attitude to God and expect Him to bless you. You still haven’t produced fruit from the last seed He gave you. It’s your faithfulness to produce that qualifies you for the next level, not your competitive and greedy spirit.
Just because Susie Lou got engaged doesn’t mean you need to rush out and find a man because you’ve been single longer than she has. If you weren’t so wrapped up in getting a ring then you could be found faithful with your current single season. Spending your single season entertaining randoms only delays your promise and interferes with your progression. You can’t hear God if you have all types of distractions in your ear. God can’t be God in your life if you keep stealing His role. You bury your seed during your single season by complaining, sulking and allowing a spirit of jealousy to attach itself to you. How can you be found faithful by first marrying Christ if you’re so focused on marrying the next eligible bachelor? Desire to open a business? If you can’t be found faithful with your current portion of working your job as unto the Lord then you’ve buried your seed. Showing up late, working halfheartedly and working unto man, promotion or money will delay your elevation to the next level in your life.
When you plant your seeds, the work doesn’t stop just because the seed is now in the ground. There is tilling and maintenance that still has to take place. The same is applicable in our spiritual walks. You may have gotten the ring and are now walking down the aisle but the work doesn’t stop at the altar; it’s just beginning. Once a tree sprouts up from the ground you still have to prune it in order for it to grow healthy and strong.
Now on the flip side, after burying your seed you may become tempted to anticipate increase. However, just because your seed is in the ground doesn’t mean it will produce a harvest. You’ve just hidden it from your view. Your complacency has given off the illusion that you’re “increasing,” but the truth is, you’ve just grown comfortable with Ishmael. You’re comfortable in your current season and you don’t want “more” because you know “to whom much is given, much is required.” You don’t want to quit your job and start that business because your income has become your God and not Jehovah Jireh. You settle for unproductive relationships because you’re comfortable operating in your side-chickdom. Why wait for a ring? Maybe it’s because there’s work and waiting involved while you and “Boaz” develop. Therefore, you settle and say “okay this is as good as it gets for me.” So when harvest time arrives the only thing you’re bringing to God is your unfertilized seeds with nothing but excuses attached. No increase in sight.
Have you planted the seeds God has given you? Even if you’ve planted your seeds, are you garden-hopping? When a test comes your way do you uproot your seed in hopes of settling in a more accommodating field? No matter how hard you try to bypass the process, you will have to be “tilled” wherever you go. The farmer protects the planted seeds. He’s pulling up the weeds and monitoring the growth, He’s scaring away the rodents and removing any parasites that try to interfere with the growth process. The growing process is not easy or quick but it’s preparing you for the harvest. Since you’re afraid of the work ahead you bury your seed instead of planting it. But the thing is, you bury your seed and wonder why it hasn’t produced a harvest. You walk in disobedience and immaturity, criticizing the other servants and critiquing their harvest. But have you sown your seeds? Have you been obedient to what God has called you to do? Can He find you faithful over your current season? Will He celebrate in joy with you at harvest time or will He cast you away into darkness?
If you’ve buried your seeds I hope that you’ll strike up the courage to take those seeds up and plant them. Don’t allow fear to cause you to miss out on a beautiful harvest. God has given you the seeds and is expecting you to produce and have a harvest upon His return. The question is, will you have one?
Peace and love.
As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. – Genesis 8:22 (NLT)
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. – 2 Corinthians 9:10 (ESV)