THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
UTILIZING OUR TALENTS - 2
November 13, 2011
Today’s reading: Matthew 25:14-30
Servant leadership is an awesome responsibility, because servant
leaders step into the very sandals of Jesus, continuing his
work of bringing his salvation into the lives of people, and
helping care for his flock. Now that is intimidating! Some
who are called would rather not start off on that challenging
road of servant leadership, oftentimes out of fear of the
unknown, or of failure, or of not measuring up to God’s
standard (Mt 25:24-25).
when we do that, is that it? Have we simply avoided a complication
in our future? No! When we are given a talent and we do
not use it for the benefit of the Master, we will be severely
punished (Mt 25:30). Why? It is the sin of omission. God calls
us as His servants and entrusts us with His possessions (Mt
25:14), that is, His work of salvation and the good things
given us by which we are to help make a better world. He is
depending on us to produce fruit. If we refuse to even try,
we are turning our backs on Him, rejecting Him and His plan
for the life of the world. That is why we are considered “wicked”
Still, if we truly realized how awesome is the task entrusted
to God’s servant leaders, it is intimidating. What then
can help us?
we will not be measured by the fruit we produce, but by our
faithfulness. Even if the third servant had only put the master’s
money in the bank and earned interest (Mt 25:27), he would
have escaped punishment. God is only looking for willing instruments.
It is He who empowers and He who provides the growth. Our
task is just to present ourselves and do our work as best
the acceptance, reward and joy of the Master will be the same
even if we produced less fruit than others. What the master
said to the first two servants, who produced different results,
was exactly the same (Mt 25:21,23). We do what we are called
to, not comparing with how prominent or outstanding other
servant leaders are, not feeling less worthy because we seemingly
produce less fruit.
we start with what we have, and God will increase our talent
as we prove faithful (Mt 25:28-29a). Servant leadership is
a continuing learning experience. There will be ups and downs.
We will seemingly fail at times. We start off unsure of ourselves,
but will grow as we simply act. God starts us off with what
He knows we can handle. Then He gives us greater tasks to
do as we prove faithful (Mt 25:21b).
we should know and fear the consequences of inaction or infidelity.
Not only will we lose the talent given us (Mt 25:28), such
that our spiritual life will be impoverished (Mt 25:29b),
not only will we be considered by the Master as a “useless
servant” (Mt 25:30a), but we will be thrown “into
the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding
of teeth.” (Mt 25:30). Not to use the talent is to lose
the talent, to miss out on being received by the Master with
joy, and to end up in darkness outside the wonderful realm
So let us be good and not wicked servants. Let us go about
the work of the Kingdom with zeal and vigor and not be lazy.
Let us be faithful and thus useful, and not be useless. Let
us grow rich and not have whatever little we have to even
be taken away. Let us share our Master’s joy and not
wail and grind our teeth in the darkness.
let us grow in greater responsibilities in the work of the
Kingdom. Then let us await with wondrous expectation the return
of our Master and his settling accounts with us (Mt 25:19).
See my reflection on this same verse given last August 27,
2011 (On Servant Leadership, Part 25).
 Every member of community is given a gift to be used for
the benefit of the work (1 Cor 12:7).