Yesterday I attended a wonderful all-day seminar put on by author and speaker Bo Stern. The title of the seminar was Speakology. Bo shared tips for women who want to speak publicly to share the Gospel of Jesus—tips on both what TO do and what NOT to do. She talked about thesis statements, illustrations, and how to craft a story in a way that you keep your listener’s and reader’s attention to the end.
The seminar was broken into three parts. At the beginning of the second part, right after lunch, she passed a cup full of pennies down each row of attendees and instructed us to each take one. Here’s the penny I got:
Bo then read Matthew 25, the parable of the talents. You know the story. The master leaves on a trip and entrusts his servants with some of his money. One servant gets five talents (a unit of money in the Bible), one gets two, and the last gets one. The first two servants double their money, but the third one hides the talent in the ground because he is afraid of losing it and angering the master.
When the master returns, the first two servants are commended for their efforts (not necessarily their results) and given more responsibility. The third servant is chastised, called wicked and lazy, and thrown out into darkness.
I love versions of this parable that use the term “talents” rather than bags of money. What we are each entrusted with by God may not be money. It may truly be some sort of talent or skill that can be used to the benefit of God’s kingdom.
Bo said this penny represented all the words God has given each of us to write and speak. We are to use them, not hide them away, so that they might multiply the kingdom of God.
As she spoke, I examined my little penny. Of the fifty or sixty pennies distributed that day, I believe I received just the one I was supposed to. As is my habit with coins, I noted the mint date on my penny: 1975.
I was eleven years old in 1975. That year I accepted Jesus as my Savior at Missionettes Bible camp. At that time, God entrusted me with words of truth and a reason to use my talent for writing.
For a long time, I didn’t invest my talent as God would have me do. But in 2009 He prompted me to start this blog and use my talent to multiply the love and grace of His kingdom. I have been rewarded immensely, knowing I have blessed others with my words.
What talent has God entrusted you with? If I gave you a penny, what would it represent for you? Are you an encourager? Do you have the gift of hospitality? Are you also a writer? Perhaps it is financial blessing that God has given you, or simply the endurance to see a job through to completion to the best of your ability.
When God returns, or brings you home, will you hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
Whatever it is that God has entrusted you with to multiply the blessing of His kingdom in the world, will you choose to set aside the fear holding you back and use your talent for His glory? Will you invest your penny today? Let me know in the comments.