I have read Christ’s parable of the talents in Matthew 25 since I was a boy. It tells the story of a ruler who entrusts money(“talents” in the Greek) to several of his servants and later comes back for a reckoning. To the servants who wisely invested his money he gives more authority and responsibility. The standard interpretation of the parable is that Christ gives his followers gifts which he expects us to wisely invest for His kingdom and which He will one day judge our stewardship. The nature of the gifts that Christ entrusts to us are often felt to be things such as time, money, abilities, ministries, and such.
But I was thinking about this stewardship, and then I thought about the great commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:30-31)
If the greatest commandment that God gives is to love, then is this not a stewardship as well, to love? And if it is, then is it not the greatest and most important of our stewardships?
Yes, I want Christ to one day say to me “You used your money well for the kingdom” “You used your teaching gift well for the kingdom”. But what I must desire most for Him to tell me is “John, you loved Me well” “John, you loved your wife well” “John, you loved your children well”
I think this ties back into 1 Corinthians 13—”Though I speak with tongues, though I understand all mysteries, though I have all faith, though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not love, it profits me nothing”—whatever other good works that we do, whatever other ministries that we have, if we do not display a wise stewardship and investment of love both toward God and toward the people He has given us a stewardship over, it will profit us nothing.