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We live in an age where everyone can have a platform. The prevalence of the internet, social media, and even books (an average of 2.2 million are published worldwide every year) can make us feel like all of our ideas can be and should be shared. There is a temptation to indulge in the culture of self-promotion, but I believe that God calls us to live a life of stewardship instead. However, it can be hard to differentiate between the two. So, this blog will unpack biblical stewardship by exploring seven lessons from the Parable of the Talents.

Stewardship Definition:

Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as “the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property– especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.

The biblical meaning of stewardship is doing what God has called you to do, even when it costs you absolutely everything. On the other hand, self-promotion involves doing something to elevate and bring security to yourself. 

Self-promotion stops at the threshold of your comfort. Biblical stewardship will take you far beyond anything you thought you were capable of achieving. It comes with a Kingdom perspective– as you serve others by doing your job with excellence, you clear the path for others to fulfill their God-given assignment as well. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Kingdom Finance: How to Build Wealth God’s Way 

That’s why the Christian life is not about biding your time until you can get into heaven. Rather, it’s about stewarding your time well and working diligently to produce fruit for The Kingdom of God. Nothing illustrates the concept of biblical stewardship quite like The Parable of The Talents.


the parable of the talents

The Parable of the Talents 

Jesus compares The Parable of The Talents (found in Matthew 25:14-30) to the Kingdom of Heaven. He says, “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.” In this scenario, the servants symbolize people, and the master symbolizes God. Some calculate a single talent to be worth 20 years of wages to the common worker. More conservative estimations place a talent between $1,000 and $30,000 in today’s US dollars. Regardless, the servants aren’t dealing with small numbers—they’ve been entrusted with a lot.

The master of the house gives five talents to the first servant. This servant doubles the amount and ends up with ten. When the master returns, he praises, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

The servant who has two talents repeats the same doubling process. However, the servant who was given one talent takes it and buries it in the ground. When the master returns, the servant digs it up and explains, “Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth.” The master becomes disappointed and angry with this servant. He takes the one talent from the third unfaithful servant and hands it to the first servant who has ten talents. He says, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.”

7 Lessons I Learned from The Parable of The Talents

1. We are stewards, not owners. The time and resources that we are entrusted with in this life are not our own. God gives them to us, and our job is to live a fruitful life with what we’re given. It’s not about our platform.

2. God gives us things to steward “according to our ability.” He intentionally gives different types of resources and talents. Think about the career path, hobby, or other areas where you want to partner with G0d. According to this parable, opportunity will come when you take a step of faith to develop your abilities! So, gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, and see what doors God opens.

3. Avoid making decisions out of fear at all costs. The servant who was given one talent didn’t take any risks with his finances because he was afraid to disappoint the master. He thought His Master to “have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error” (Matthew 25:24, MSG). Those are all great qualities for someone who deals with money! Yet, the servant’s fear drove him to the point where his actions really didn’t make any sense. He could have at least put his one talent in the bank to gain interest. Do you want to learn more about biblical stewardship principles?

Are you eager to integrate your faith with your financial decisions? Then download our FREE Kingdom WealthBuilders devotional by filling out the form below!

4. God rewards a wise risk taker.

The people who move forward in the things of God are the ones who are willing to take risks. On the other hand, those who play it safe don’t please God. Here’s what the Master told the servant with one talent:

 ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?” (Matthew 25:27)

Are you living a cautious life or one that’s full of faith? Of course, we should evaluate the risks we take with wisdom, financially and otherwise. As you move beyond what’s familiar and comfortable and into the next stage of your wealth building journey, you’ll experience supernatural increase like the ten talent person did in verse 28: ‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most.”

Related: Faith and Finance: How Risk and Reward Can Promote Spiritual Growth

5. Diligent service is the pathway to promotion.

Every season is pregnant with purpose. How you steward the opportunities in your current season is a litmus test that determines:

a. Your trustworthiness 

b. Your capacity to handle more 

The very thing you are praying for in the future might be on the other side of your stewardship today! May it be said of you like it is of the servant in Matthew 25:21 (NLT): “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.” 

6. God is good. The master’s motivation for giving his servants talents in the first place was so that they could grow in relationship and celebrate together. The reason that the first servant didn’t steward the money well was because they misinterpreted the character of their master. How often do we miss out on blessings because we don’t understand God’s goodness?

7. God rewards biblical stewardship. If you live a life of service, divine doors to more responsibilities will open for you. You will have the peace and provision that you need. You also will not become stagnant. The Kingdom of God is a greenhouse for supernatural growth.

Read Next: What is a Kingdom Mindset: How to Experience Heaven on Earth


This blog was originally published on September 21, 2021, and has since been modified for content and accuracy.