"I Was the One Talent Man"
Let me again apologize for the handwriting. It is extremely dark here, and I am unable to ensure that this correspondence is readable. However, it is crucial to me that you do not join me here, so I will do my best to answer your questions.
First, it is the Lord, Who gives talents, abilities, and skills (I Peter 4:11; I Timothy 1:12). It is a foolish, proud, and arrogant man who looks upon his blessings and gives credit to himself, rather than His Creator (Daniel 4:28-37; Habakkuk 1:5-2:4). Of course, this does not imply that man has no part in the matter. Just as salvation is a gift from God, bestowed by grace, but still requires the acceptance and obedience of man; likewise, talents and abilities are gifts from God, but still require diligence and faithfulness on the part of man. This leads well into your second question.
"Why do some people have talents and others do not?" I cannot answer this second question fully, but I have learned some things about this question, which may be helpful to you. Since it is the Lord, Who provides these talents, we know it is the Lord, Who chooses for some to have talents and others not. Although there is much we will never know, we do know that part of the basis for His decision is the exhibition of one's diligence with the talents that he already possesses (I Timothy 1:12; Matthew 25:25-27). Everybody has some talent. If one does not use that talent which he already possesses, to the glory of the Lord, why would the Lord entrust such an unfaithful servant with more talents, which will also be wasted (Luke 16:10-12)?
At this point, I am sure you would ask, "But, I have seen those who worked hard for the Lord, and they did not receive any talents or abilities." "Why not?" I also used to wonder about this difficult question, and although I cannot answer with certainty, please consider these thoughts: Part of the answer lies in the misconception that talents are limited to academic intelligence, speaking, and writing - things we usually associate with public teaching. Not everybody's talents are of the same type (I Corinthians 12:12-26). Talents also include the Christian virtues, such as patience, humility, meekness, kindness, and love (II Peter 1:2-7). These latter things are far more important and effective than the former. Anybody can learn to speak and write, but it is a special person who learns humility. Moreover, if a Christian flourishes in these virtues, he is assured that he will be "neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:8-11).
Although faithfulness and diligence are requirements for the Lord increasing talent and ability, just because one is faithful does not guarantee that he will be a "ten talent" man (Matthew 25:14-30). He may be a "four talent" or "two talent" man. Just because the farmer labors, planting seed, watering the ground, and tending the fields does not guarantee that he will always get a harvest, much less a great harvest. It is our task to "plant" and "water" with diligence. We have to leave the size of the harvest up to God (I Corinthians 3:6-9). The farmer's crop is always considered a gift; likewise, the Christian's fruit is also a gift. In both cases, one's labor can neither guarantee nor earn the reward.
I know you may have not asked for this last piece of advice, but please let me offer it for your consideration: Do not worry any longer about how many talents you have compared to someone else. Only concern yourself with your stewardship (I Corinthians 4:1-7). Focus on doubling what you have, not what you do not have (II Corinthians 8:12). Remember why you are putting forth diligence. Seek the Master's glory and the benefit of your fellow servants - not your own personal power. Regardless of the burden, the "ten talent" man will receive the same reward as the "two talent" man (Matthew 20:1-16). The one who will not receive any reward is the one who merely returns the one talent he was given. After that - he will have none (Matthew 25:25-30).
... Manuscript was found by an Arabian farmer, wrapped in a leather napkin and buried in a desolate field....
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