Jesus continued, “It is like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money”. (Matthew 25: 14 – 18)
Working in my dad’s grocery store as a teen, I was taught that the customer is always right and to smile at them no matter what. One day as I was at the at the cash register, a stranger asked me for change for a $20 note and then a ten and then a five. I was responding with my dazzling smile when my sister slammed the register drawer shut. Then he told the customer to get out of the store right away. I was dumbfounded. My sister explained that it was a scam and that the register at the end of the day would be at least $20 short. She was right. The next time someone tried it on me, my smile vanished as I told them to leave before my sister and I called the police.
There are times to be nice and times to be not so nice. The parable of the talents reminds us how “nice” God has been to bless us with so much. But with those gifts comes an important responsibility: to use them and share them in a way that they are not squandered.