February 11, 2013

“To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his abilities.” Matthew 25:15

Sonicnet.com campaign 11

Sonicnet.com campaign 11 (Photo credit: Fred Seibert)

Acclaimed violin virtuoso Joshua Bell took his violin to the train station as part of an experiment.  He played the Gibson ex Huberman.  It was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master’s “golden period,” toward the end of his career, when he had access to the finest spruce, maple and willow, and when his technique had been refined to perfection. The price tag for this violin is reported to be about $3.5 million.

In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.

So many people just hurried past a performance that normally would have cost them hundreds of dollars if they were able to get a ticket at all.  A great performance is not dependent upon the venue or the audience and can easily be missed.

I think that there are so many Christians who are preoccupied by both venue and audience.  They don’t want to use their talents in a train station where only seven people will stop to listen or they may feel like they don’t have much talent and shouldn’t even play in a train station.   Every person has been given some talent.  It is up to us to decide what we are going to do with the talents that God has entrusted us with.

Brahms for a Sunday Afternoon

Brahms for a Sunday Afternoon (Photo credit: mRio)

The good servant will just play.  The good servant doesn’t worry if they are playing with the five talents of a virtuoso or the single talent of a hack.  The good servant will just play. The good servant doesn’t worry if they are playing to a crowded music hall or an indifferent train station.

We can become so preoccupied with applying our talents in a manner that we find acceptable that we end up not applying them at all.  That is the greatest waste of a person’s talent.  Jesus has a very specific description of this type of person, wicked and slothful.

We need to use our talents and let God handle the rest.  It may be telling a stranger on the train about Jesus; teaching a Sunday School class; talking about your faith with co-workers or friends; leading your kids in a Bible study; encouraging your pastor & church leaders.  You may not think that is ministry but it is.  It is using the talents that God has given you.  You may only have the opportunity to lead a small group when you have the talent to preach.  Teach the small group with all of your talents and make it the best study ever.  Does it matter that your “train station” only has four people in it.

You may only have one talent.  Then play that talent with all of your heart.

You may have all sorts of talent but no opportunity. Then play those talents with all of your heart where you are today.  Don’t be discouraged about where you get to play your talents.  Play where you have an opportunity to play.  That is where God has you and He does not make mistakes.

Remember we are playing our talents for the Master who gave them to us.  Let Him worry about the venue and the audience.  Our job is to just close our eyes and play where we are, for His glory.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for being so much like the servant who refused to used their talents.  Lord, forgive me for thinking that the talents you have given me can only be used in a specific manner.  Father, you are my audience.  Lord, give me wisdom to invest the talents that you have given.  Don’t let me passively sit and let my life slide on by.  Lord, I will play my talent, where I am today with all of my heart and for your glory.  May you receive all praise and honor.   Amen


  1. Thanks – you are using your talent by sharing this! It will make you master of many.

  2. needed to hear that today

  3. I agree with sweetpauladee above, especially: “Play where you have an opportunity to play. That is where God has you and He does not make mistakes.” I shouldn’t need reminding, but I do! Thank you, JD. And thank you for stopping by my blog, From the Inside Out. I’m delighted that you found “The Pitfall of Promises” meaningful.

  4. Reblogged this on “Rediscovering Biblical Christianity”.

  5. Excellent Commentary and lesson. It is well written and expressed. The best compliment that I can give you is to re-blog it on one of my blogs and share it on Facebook.

    Thank you.

  6. Very humbling and encouraging. Thank you.

  7. Yes! A great story and a good reminder!

  8. Thank you. Great illustration of talent and how to use it faithfully!

  9. This was very encouraging to read, looking forward to reading more. Thank you for liking my post. God Bless!

  10. The people I have most admired(spiritually) in my life have been good examples of this. The other thing I have most admired about them is they were so unaware they were doing it and did it totally froma heart filled with God’s love of others. Many of them, Like Jesus, only traveled a few miles from their home towns and yet had an impact on hundreds of people.

  11. Great story, and a good reminder to us all. Thank you. \O/

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