Parable of the Talents • Matthew 25:14-30 • 14 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. • 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. • 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. • 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. • 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. • 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. • 20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, "Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' • 21 His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Parable of the Talents • 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, "Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.' • 23 His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' • 24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, "Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. • 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' • 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, "You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. • 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. • 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. • 29 "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. • 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Definition • averse or disinclined to work, activity, or exertion; indolent. • causing idleness or indolence: a hot, lazy afternoon. • slow-moving; sluggish: a lazy stream.
1) Hates work • Proverbs 21:25 - The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor. • Tries to run away from work • Always focuses on the minimum that needs to be done to accomplish a task • Procrastinates to the last minute • Poor quality work
1) Hates work • Does not feel responsible to share in the work – instead relies on others • 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 - For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. • School group project example
2) Loves sleep • Proverbs 26:14 - As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. • Frequent naps & long hours of sleep • If we live to be 70 and sleep 8 hours a day, we will have slept 23 years • Each extra hour we sleep per day is 3 years of our life. What could we be doing with this time?
2) Loves sleep • Sacrificing important activities for the sake of sleep (example Church attendance) • Gets tired easily • Refuses service because overly values rest • Ascetic practices actually produce more energy • Getting out of bed might be the hardest moment of our day, but immediately after we do we start to awaken and become refreshed • When we work when tired, our bodies tend to renew their strength
3) Makes excuses • Proverbs 26:13 - The lazy man says, "There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!" • Excuses we make to others – to justify ourselves to others • I forgot • I didn’t have time • I’m too busy • It wasn’t necessary • Excuses we make to ourselves – to make us feel good about ourselves • What excuses do we make to avoid spiritual activities, serving, chores, or helping others?
4) Wastes time & energy • Proverbs 18:9 - He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer. • Our laziness destroys the single most important resource we have – our time • Our time on earth is very limited • We will be judged on how we used our time – Parable of the talents • 1 Peter 1:17 - And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear • Sleep diminishes our passion • What do we spend most of our time doing?
5) Thinks he is wise • Proverbs 26:16 - The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly. • Thinks he is smart for finding a way to get out of work • Thinks he is in control of his time, but actually he is a slave to his desire for rest • Sees those that toil in the service or in work as fools – always wants to take easy road • Desires the easiest career that requires the least work • Winning lottery would be considered the ultimate success • Proverbs 6:6 - Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise
1) Becomes a servant • Proverbs 12:24 - The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. • If we cannot rule ourselves, then someone will rule us • The diligent hard-working man will be a ruler and a manager of others • The lazy man will be made to work against his will to repay his debts • The hard working man enjoys his work (no matter what it is), and feels that he is successful after a hard day’s work; he is content • The lazy man enjoys rest, despises work, and feels frustrated if he is required to work hard – he is not content
2) Comes to poverty • Proverbs 20:4 - The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. • Example of Education • If we are not serious and diligent in our studies now, planning ahead for our futures, then we will reap what we have sown in the form of a unfulfilling career and regret at our missed opportunities • The lazy man is not able to provide for himself or his family, not because he did not have opportunities, but because he wasted them • Proverbs 13:4 - The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
3) A destroyed house • Proverbs 24:30-34 - I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. • The lazy man cannot maintain his house • Homes and families can be destroyed
3) A destroyed house • Our families and relationships need constant attention, maintenance, pruning, and building • If we are lazy in our obligations, these relationships will gradually fade and be broken • Examples: Spending time together as a family, or serving a friend
4) Poor self image • While the lazy man might feel that he is more clever than the rest for getting out of work, deep down he feels badly about himself • Work brings with it a sense of dignity and responsibility • While we think laziness brings comfort and rest it also brings discontent and feeling of inadequacy and poor self image. • When a lazy man compares himself to an industrious one, what can he say about himself? • How do the spiritually lazy see the spiritually active? • How do they see themselves?
5) Leads to sin • “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” • If we remain idle, not working or keeping ourselves busy with useful activities, we easily fall into sin • Idle behavior includes excessive TV watching and Internet use
6) Will be disciplined • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 - For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. • There are physical consequences to laziness. • Poor performance • Low grades • Bad performance review at work
Laziness in the spiritual life • Prayer life • Reading the Word of God • Service • Church attendance • Bible Studies and Sunday School • Amidst obstacles
Sts. Maximous and Domatius • Princes that chose the monastic life • They enjoyed all luxury in the palace but chose to forsake it for Christ’s sake • When they arrived in the desert, they were tested by being asked to carve their own cells from the rock • They happily did so • Compare to our spiritual struggle
Conclusion • Galatians 6:9 - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.