Do What You Can
You may be familiar with the Parable of Talents Jesus told in Matthew 25. But just in case you are not, here is a quick summary.
A very wealthy man goes on a very long journey and leaves three of his servants in charge of his wealth. He gives them the responsibility to manage his resources and the freedom to invest as they see fit for his benefit. He determines who gets what based upon their abilities—five talents, two talents, and one talent. He does not tell them what to do but he expects them to manage his resources well. Instead of treating these men as mere servants, the owner makes them his business partners and gives them complete control over his wealth for many years.
The three servants fall into two categories: faithful and unfaithful. The two faithful servants take their talents and put them to work for their master. They are productive, eventually multiplying their talents by a hundred percent each. The unfaithful servant, however, digs a hole and buries his one talent. When his master returns, he gives him back his one talent, unimproved and undeveloped. The master rebukes him severely, calling him wicked and lazy, before taking his talent from him and giving it to the first servant.
The talents in the parable represent gifts and opportunities to use our abilities productively for God’s glory and our good. God expects us to manage these opportunities well. This is why the master in this story is so displeased with the third servant. This guy did not misspend, misemploy, embezzle, or squander his master’s resources. He just did nothing with it. He just dug a hole and buried his talent.
He decided to play it safe and take no risk. Instead of playing offense, he decided he would play defense. Instead of trying to win, he would make it his goal not to lose. Instead of trying to make progress, he would make it his goal not to regress. He thought he would lose his talents by investing them. But you do not lose by using your talents; you lose by doing nothing with them.
So what is the lesson of this parable? The secret to living a truly rewarding life is to use what you have been given and to do your best with the opportunities God gives you, no matter how small they may seem.
President Theodore Roosevelt got it right when he said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Thats sounds like pretty good advice to me.
You can’t do everything, but you can do something. So do it!