Life Notes—July 11, 2013
“Then the one who had received one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave!’” Matthew 25:24-25a
I love to nap. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are simply not complete without at least a short snooze in the sunroom or on the couch. It’s not that I need the extra sleep; it just feels good to take some me-time to relax. In fact, it feels luxurious. Is it lazy to nap when there is work to be done? Perhaps; but even Jesus took time to go off alone to reconnect and recharge. Sometimes, everyone must step back to keep moving forward.
The fourth of the seven deadly sins is sloth. The passage above is part of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In this parable Jesus tells of a master who gave one of his slaves five talents, one two, and one a single talent, with instructions to take the talents and use them for good. The first and second slaves used their talents in ways that multiplied them. But the slave given a single talent buried his, and when the master returned he took his single talent away and gave it to the slave with the most.
Sloth is defined as laziness. While most commonly referring to physical laziness, its manifestation as one of the seven deadly sins is in spiritual laziness. When we fail to use or develop the talents, gifts, resources and graces we have been given we become like the lazy slave who simply buried his talent. According to scripture the lazy slave did so out of fear. Perhaps it was fear of not being able to do as much as others. Perhaps it was jealousy that others had been given more. Sometimes we are reluctant to use our gifts because we feel someone else is a better cook, a better talker, or a better whatever. And in believing what we have to offer is not good enough we simply bury, or hide, what we have been given. Sometimes we fail to take an action for good we are fully capable of taking. It is said that evil exists where good people fail to act. The talents we have are given freely, but they must be put to use for good. Similarly, our gift of salvation is free, in that we cannot earn it, but it is given with the expectation we will act in response to the gift. In James 2:26 is written, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.” We are called to use what we have been given in service to others. The rewards of faith may be free, but the impact of our faith is up to us.
Tom will be preaching downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary. Mitch is preaching at the west campus where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.
Come home to church this Sunday. Your talents are welcome there!
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator