14"...a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
Many of us have skills that can be used to serve the Lord. For example, some have a natural flair at helping the poor, others are good at interpreting the Bible. Likewise, many of us receive from God a talent in music, and we can either use this gift wisely, or put it to waste:
16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
Hence, God gives us skills in differing amounts, and that it is up to us to put these to work for God. Like the lazy servant, we may be tempted to put a skill to waste. However, God does not like this, and the parable talks about God's punishment:
24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,'... I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' 26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant!... 28" 'Take the talent from him...
The Bible warns that those who do not put God's riches to good use will have it taken away from him! I used to wonder how God could take away musical skill, and God's answer came when I injured my thumb while practicing. An injury lasting for a long period of time, maybe months or years, can cause serious deterioration to one's musical skills. There may be other ways, of course, that this could happen.
"...and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance."
In contrast to verse 28, those who use their talents wisely will see it multiplied! Keep serving your church's music ministry, for example, and you'll find yourself getting better and better musically. The most important thing in improving your skills is hence to keep serving God and your congregation musically.
God rewards abundantly, and here are three more rewards:
Secondly, God praises those who use their talents wisely: Well done, good and faithful servant! Imagine meeting the Almighty God face to face in heaven, cowering in His holiness and worshiping Him in awe. Then imagine God patting you on the back, and saying "good job!". I think I'd just cry non-stop!
Thirdly, God puts faithful servants in positions of leadership and responsibility. As you show yourself to be faithful, God will put give you important tasks and responsibilities, because no master or boss would trust the lazy with more, but only those who are hardworking and have proven themselves.
Lastly, God invites faithful servants to share in His happiness. When you see the congregation deep in worship you will, in all humility, think less of how the music is affecting them (Your happiness at doing a good job), but just feel joy at the offering that is presented to God (God's happiness). In other words, you will learn to take on a more Godly perspective at your work.
While I've applied the Parable of the Talents to the music ministry, the above definitely applies to all skills and ministries.