With my bum leg putting me on crutches, I am reading the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) in a whole new light. Because I have less energy and ability than I used to, I have needed to recognize that I’m just not going to be able to do all I was before, at least not while I’m still healing. God only holds us accountable for what we do with what we’ve got.
How do we measure how well we utilize what God has given us? We usually measure success by way of output: how much we do. But I think a better way is to first take into account what we have been given to work with. From there, we can looks at the percentage of it that we actually use. By this calculation, a person who was given 100 talents and uses 10% of it would get a score of 10. A person with only 50 talents, but who uses 80% of what they have, would then get a score of 40.
Sometimes I think of this when I compare myself with people who lack education, or skills, or a stable environment, or some other “talent.” I may be twice as capable as that person, but they could still be outperforming me many times over.
1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
To whom much is given, much is required.