Today we begin week three of the COMPARISON TRAP bible study and that means that we are already at the halfway mark of our study! The Comparison Trap is a 28-day online devotional bible study about how to stop comparing ourselves to others and enjoy and be grateful for the more than amazing gifts we’ve been given by the Father! Comparison is a NO WIN situation and it’s like telling God that he shortchanged us! Let’s look at comparison in light of the “parable of the talents”!
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message! And parables were used by Jesus to teach us.
Let’s start by reading from the book of Matthew…
For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours. But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25: 14-30
Three servants were each giving talents. Talents were the largest measure of money in the ancient world. The word “talent” is talaton in Greek. It means “weight”. So a talent is not an amount but a weight. And a talent weighed about 75 pounds and was worth approximately 20 years of wages to a common worker. That would be an amazing amount in our times today, but for the ancients, it was wealth beyond their wildest dreams!
So the master of the servants gave each of them a HUGE sum of money to work with. This was not a stingy master! This master had literally entrusted each servant with a lifetime of riches. Even the servant with one talent was given more than he could have could have every comprehended!
After a lifetime the master came back to settle accounts and see how the servants used their bags of riches. The first servant with the five bags used the money and invested it to make five more bags of riches.
The servant with the two bags of talents used his bags of riches and made an additional two bags.
But the servant who was given one bag of extreme riches did nothing to advance his master and hid the talent in the ground.
You might ask why the master was so so harsh with the third servant? After all, he returned to the master what he had been given without loss. But we can assume from the context of the parable that the intent of the master was for each servant to bring his master a profit.
Now, what does this have to do with us and our almost constant inner need to compare ourselves to others? Great question, right?
Let’s think of ourselves, as Andy says, as “two baggers”. Each of us holding an average bag (times two) of wealth beyond our wildest dreams! Some people might have five bags and some just one. But everyone is holding at least one bag! And we are holding two!
Just think, we have been given 150 pounds of gifts and talents far beyond what we could ever think or imagine. Enough to last an entire lifetime!
And what we do with those “talents” is up to us. But we have a master. The one who has entrusted us with these extreme riches and he will want an account of how we invested them too!
How hard is it to know yet invest our talents when we are too busy looking at what’s in everybody else’s bags? And why compare our two bag life to what others are pulling out of theirs? Let’s dig into our own bags and see all the riches they have to hold.
Today I’m going to challenge you (and me)… from now on when you have an urge to compare… STOP! Think of the lifetime of riches you were given by your heavenly Father. These are talents that have been hand picked and tailor made for your life. Dig into your bags and rejoice in the abundance of what’s in them!
And then use those talents to bring glory to God and increase to His kingdom!
We can’t do that if we compare our lives and what we have to others. Comparison will only produce seeds of bitterness and jealously and make us ungrateful for the other things God has given us. The thought of being ungrateful to God pierces my heart!
I would love you to jump into our study if you have not already! You can find us on the COMPARISON TRAP Facebook page. Just ask to be a member and you can read and share your thoughts. Also, you can hear me talk about Comparing ourselves to others on our facebook page live tonight at 9:00 est. I’ll be talking about the parable of the talents more in depth! Join our Facebook group HERE
You can find great weekly teaching by Andy and Sandra Stanley on your smartphone. You won’t want to miss these so amazing teachings. See them HERE.
And you can get the 28 day Comaprison Trap devotional HERE.
It’s not too late to start! Jump in and start at day one! Everything you need is ready for you!
I hope you will take the “2 bagger challenge” with me and start finding all the incredible talents in your 2 bag life!
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23
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