Summary: Gifts from God must be developed to the maximum as we reject minimalism.
Parable of the Talents
Becoming a Maximum Christian
All Gods gifts, indeed all goodness and love we receive, are for us to develop to the maximum and so provide for increase in God’s Kingdom. That’s the message I would leave with you today. Become a “maximalist,” not a minimalist to prepare for the final judgment while seeking fulfillment here on earth. Be totally obedient to Christ, who is the way, the Truth and the Life. Not just to the teachings we agree with, but all Christ’s teachings including to the authority of the church, the believers, the people of God. We ourselves are not the measure of truth, Jesus is. So to be a maximalist, we must be totally committed to the truth that resides in the person of Christ.
Maybe we can resolve to be good, kind and considerate to our families and our friends, but to our enemies? Yes, we must be concerned for all of God’s creation and the fact that Jesus came to heal sinners. Our example is to be the witness of Christ on earth. We must seek justice, not revenge.
Two servants in the Parable of the Talents made the most of their God-given gifts according to their abilities, and their master joyfully rewarded them. The servants appeared to be pleased with their efforts, saying to the master in effect Look!,... I have doubled your money!
These servants overcame any fear they may have had of losing the money entrusted to them, working zealously to bring about a good return to the Master, who promotes them, and shares his joy with them for having doubled the investment in them.
A third servant didn’t even try to make the most of the gift for him to manage according to his ability while the master was away, a substantial sum of money known as a talent that was equal to a laborer’s wage for about 20 years, almost the work of a modern lifetime. The servant buried it instead so it could be returned just as he received it from his master. Then there could be no criticism of any risks he might have taken so that the talent was lost. He was doing the least he could and presuming that minimum effort would be acceptable.
Perhaps the third servant really believed he was doing enough for his master. In Jesus’ time, servants entrusted with a master’s goods were expected to make them increase, however. The parable of the Unprofitable Servants makes that point clearly. It is not enough to do only what one is required to do in order to be a useful or profitable servant (Luke 17: 7-10.)
Many of those who say they are disciples of Christ also look for the minimum they must do to live self-indulgently on earth and still reach heaven, wanting to go the easy way, rather than through the narrow gate of fully committed discipleship, observing all of Jesus’ teachings. I would encourage you today to seek the narrow gate instead of becoming a minimalist. Do the most you can as a servant of God rather the least. Consider what you have not done yet for Christ that you could still do, thus doing all you can for a fulfilling, purposeful and meaningful earthly life and moreover for eternal life free in heaven from the pain and suffering of our mortal body to be replaced by joy in God’s presence.