The Master’s joy: “Deepening the Faith” devotional 6

This installment is part of a regular devotional series, “Deepening the Faith,” written by Gordon faculty and staff for the enrichment of the wider College community.

To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another, one, each according to his ability.—Matthew 25:15 (NASB)

When there comes a moment in your life where you forget the noble goals you started with, or you are tempted to lose heart over the time or effort it takes, be encouraged. There are many reasons we strive to continue our learning.

By extending your understanding, or advancing your curiosity, or refining applied skills in your area of study or work, you are making a faithful investment with the talents God has given you for his good purposes in the world. It may lead to increased influence with added responsibility in your current role. You might make a little more money as a result. It may even lead to promotion or a chance to step forward in your continuing career. Yet, don’t miss the lesson for faithfulness in all things.

For the two servants given the five talents and the two talents each, their response was not one focused on themselves, but on doing well with what they had been given for their Master. They went and invested their resource with experience and enthusiasm. They returned to show their Master his reward for their labor. He acknowledged their faithfulness with great joy!

For those two servants, one had fewer resources than the other, but he employed them with no less vigor as the one with more. And for the servant given only one talent, his mistake was believing he had too little to work with, and failed to do well with what he was given. The parable of “Our Lady’s Juggler,” by Anatole France, reminds me that even the most humble talent, invested faithfully, is often multiplied by God in wonderful ways as he works through our everyday labor in the world.

So be encouraged. Your chance to continue your learning is an investment for you (time, money, mental energy), an investment for those you work with, and an investment God is making in you, to further his purposes for the Kingdom in ways we haven’t even imagined.

The Master finds joy when we use the talents we are given, in the time we are given, in the places we are called to be. Go and fulfill the Master’s joy as you invest yourself today with what you have been given.

Chris Carlson
Dean of Student Success
Chris Carlson ’87 is dean of student success and has been in student development roles at Gordon for 25 years. Chris oversees the First Year Experience and Orientation, advising programs and the A. J. Gordon Scholars program, and serves with the Kenneth L. Pike Honors program. Chris advises deciding majors and is co-founder and “Chief Imagineer” of Gordon’s personal and professional development program, Launch, which will further develop this year as the new Gordon360 Experience initiative takes off. He is an advocate for the student experience at Gordon, and for helping others strive to be at their best. He and his wife Sharon ’88 are parents of a Gordon College student and a new Gordon grad. Along with their small dog, Mia, they live in Hamilton.