WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?
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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All the love for this post and The Comparison Trap study!
Thank you for the Sunday post. It is always uplifting.
This really spoke to me today. How often we compare ourselves to others, especially when we are going through trying times. Thank you so much for sharing and also sharing about the devotion book.
We all struggle with comparison. I’m so happy God is speaking to you through this post! Praise God for his goodness!
Some teachings are an “aha” moment and this is one of them. I am loving the study, but more importantly loving that there are so many women (and men) who feel the EXACT way we do with comparison and the struggle each day with our lives instead of just living without this burden we carry on our shoulders to compare. Looking forward to Faceook LIVE tonight.
What a wonderful uplifting message today. I ‘m with you Yvonne in the 2 bagger challenge, we have all been given talents and we should let our talents shine in everything we do. Yvonne, you definitely let your talents shine through with your blog and your devotions to your family and freinds. Have a great Sunday.
Thanks for this teaching. I’ve heard this story before and always had trouble with it. I heard it in a different light and am encouraged to now apply it to my life and dig into my bag and focus on the talents God gave me that I might give back to him. I have been house bound for months and have missed going to church due to my illness. Today I came here to visit my favorite decorating site and discovered you have a bible study. Wow, what a wonderful surprise! Decorating and Bible study. You certainly have dug into you bag of talents for the Lord. Thank you so much. ~ Deb
Hi Deb, I so know what you are going through. I’ve been pretty housebound and wheelchair bound since mid-December. It’s been the hardest personal challenge of my life! But let’s dig into our 2 bags. I bet God has lots in there that were made for the situation we are in!
Praying for healing!
Thanks for sharing. You are a wonderful teacher and explain things so I can understand. Blessings you, enjoy your day.
As always, an awesome lesson! God has blessed me many times over! I am so grateful for his love and the gifts he has given me to share with others! Bitterness & jealousy just drag me down and it makes me feel “ugly”!
Beautiful story Yvonne ?? Thank you so very much ?
I alway learn something from your Sunday posts. Thank you. The grass isn’t always greener!
Amen, GOD is good.
I’ve been doing the study. My husband said its come at a perfect time. Your post brought tears as I thought of God giving me hand picked gifts over my lifetime. I do not have wealth but there is peace and love and yes, despite our great health stuff, each day we find something in which to laugh. The day are growing harder Lord. I loved this story as a child and never wanted to be as the one who buried the given talent. Jesus you want me for a sunbeam to shine for You each day. In every way try to please You at home at school at play. A sunbeam a sunbeam. Jesus wants me for a sunbeam. A sunbeam A sunbeam. I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.
I do not know how to deal with those that come at me with verbal attacks–not backing down–when I’m not a fighter. My heart hurts this last week. Who would even want to be me? What joy is there in doing this??
Thank you for this post. I have read this parable many times but today it seems I finally understand it.
This parable resonated loudly. I have heard it but never fully understood its message until this study. I don’t want to bury my talents. I don’t know yet what they truly are but I don’t want to disappoint God and all the blessings he has bestowed on me.
You certainly are not burying yours. Not only your gift of design and decor but your gift of teaching has blessed many.
As always, thank you for sharing.