You know that parable of the talents? To paraphrase, a master gave one servant $5,000, another $2,000 and another $1,000 to invest while he went away. The first two guys doubled the money and the last one didn’t do nothing and just handed back the money back and got sent to New Jersey.
But to use maximize your talents you have to go beyond them because God didn’t just give us talents. You need to think about two more things if we are to maximize our talents… gifts and resources. The three of them combined equal one of your callings.
Gifts + Talents + Resources = One of God’s Callings for you
God has given all of us a certain amount of gifts, talents and resources. For example, if God wanted you to become a nurse he’d give you the gifts of compassion and encouragement, talents of steady hands and people skills, and resources like money to go to college and a strong stomach.
God now wants us to do something with it and not just sit on it. Remember we’re talking about the parable where you’re supposed to invest and get a return.
Each one of your gifts, talents and resources is like another dollar on the pile that He has given you to invest and show a return. Now you should be asking yourself, “What constitutes as a ‘return’?”
A ‘return’ is a result that glorifies God in the way that God designed you.
In the nursing example, that would be going to work as a nurse and ministering in that capacity – and not just showing up to work to collect a paycheck.
A return on a calling doesn’t have to be in a job. It can be a type of person you can minister to.
Like if your spouse left you, you can minister to someone who is going through the same thing because you can sympathize with them…
For example, maybe your gifts, talents and resources you have are: the gift of encouragement, talent of speaking well in one-on-one settings and the resource of having a spouse leave you (yes, God can even use bad things as resources).
Your talent, coupled with your gifts and resources equal a calling that can be paired up with an actual relationship.
Remember – ministry is relational. And you invest your callings in your relationships to produce a return.
So now we can expand our equation to be:
(Gifts + Talents + Resources) x Relationship = Glorify God
So what am I supposed to do right now?
Think about your callings – your gifts, talents and resources.
Now think about your relationships.
And match up your callings with your relationships.
Start with the people closest to you – your family. Then start working out to your friends, classmates, coworkers, neighbors, etc.
When we know what we have to invest (callings) and where to invest it (relationships) we will receive a great return (glorify God).
MT 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
MT 25:19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
MT 25:21 “His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
MT 25:22 “The man with the two talents also came. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
MT 25:23 “His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
MT 25:24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. `Master,’ he said, `I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
MT 25:26 “His master replied, `You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
MT 25:28 ” `Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
Take Time to Pray: Pray for wisdom – to identify your gifts, talents and resources, and to identify where to invest them.