In Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus Christ gives us the Parable of the Talents. In this parable, the master represents God, and the servants represent you and me—that is, the people. The master entrusted different amounts of material wealth to three servants. To one servant, he entrusted five talents of money, to another, two talents, and to another, one talent. This is consistent with real life. Nowhere in scripture does God promise to provide everyone with the same amount of material wealth.
When the master returned, he found that the servants with five and two talents had each doubled their money. The servant with one talent had buried his, making no effort to invest his master’s money.
It’s interesting to note that the praise God gave the servant who had five talents and earned five more was identical to the praise that he gave to the servant who had two talents and earned two more. That praise was, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25: 21, 23). As for the servant who was entrusted with one talent, he was lazy, wicked, and unfaithful to God. In short, he was not a good biblical steward.
What was God’s decision with regard to the unfaithful servant who was entrusted with one talent? Matthew 25:28 and 29 state, “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (emphasis added).
It’s important to understand what this verse means. The words “for everyone who has will be given more” mean that everyone who has been a biblical and faithful steward, God will entrust with more. On the other hand, those have been unfaithful in their stewardship to God will lose even what they have been entrusted with. The servants who were entrusted with five talents and two talents demonstrated faithfulness to God, and thus God entrusted them with more. However, the third servant was not faithful, and therefore even that one talent was taken away from him.
I believe that the kind of stewardship that God is looking for could be summarized as follows:
Biblical stewardship occurs when a Christian
(1) acknowledges in mind and heart that God owns everything
(2) acts accordingly—that is, learns and implements God’s principles in managing the money and material things that God has entrusted to him or her
(3) utilizes these resources in accordance with God’s will, not one’s own will