Published in  
March 10, 2021

Lenten Gestures - Benefiting

May we not simply complain and hide our gifts thinking they are not enough. May we be resourceful.

Matthew 25:22

"And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’"

Today’s devotional examines the posture of benefiting. We should recognize that this action is for the good of everyone involved. Both the practitioners and the recipients experience a positive result.

Merriam-Webster defines benefiting: “to provide with something useful or desirable.” To give greater context, they offer words related to benefiting - “succeeding, working (for) … bettering, improving.” Our scripture passage records both the servant and the master benefiting. I’d like to offer a personal testimony.

As I write this devotional, my family is packing our apartment and moving to a new home in L.A. We've lived here for over four years. We've benefited from the situation because the location provided good schools for our kids. The crime rate is low, and we've felt comfortable having our children walk home from school. We've also benefited from the convenience of being able to walk to grocery stores and downtown for dining and entertainment.

Our landlord has benefited because we've always paid our rent on time. We developed a good relationship with him by not calling him for small repairs. He basically never heard from us. When we told him that we were moving he almost cried stating, “You all have been such good tenants.” He also benefits from the improvements we made. We installed new showerheads, painted the walls and doors, and are leaving our stainless-steel refrigerator in the unit. We will be leaving the unit in better shape than it was when we arrived. As Merriam-Webster states, we did the work of “bettering” and “improving” the unit.

Now let’s look again at the servant’s handling of the talents entrusted to him. He doubled them! The next verse reads, “His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’” (MSG) Both the servant and the master gain a reward. May we all choose to practice the posture of benefiting. May we not simply complain and hide our gifts thinking they are not enough. May we be resourceful. God can then multiply our gifts and receive glory. We will all benefit from each other’s work.

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Art: Dea Jenkins | Dicot Monocot Wildflower | watercolor | 2020

Practice: Putting Your Talents to Work

Where do you invest your resources? Your time? Your talents? What about your finances? There are many resources available for gaining wisdom on financial investing. Below you will find a few. If you are new to financing, skim these resources to see if any connect with your financial goals. If you are a seasoned investor, share these resources (and your wisdom!) with someone you know who is new to investing.

• "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by John Bogle

• "The Simple Path to Wealth" by JL Collins

• Afford Anything (blog/podcast)

• Ask Finny (personal finance educational website)

• Mr. Money Mustache (blog)